Community Health Workers (CHWs) are an emerging group of health professionals that have recently drawn increased national attention because of their potential to deliver cost-effective, high quality, and culturally competent health services within team-based care models. The apparent benefits of integrating CHWs into health care teams seem to depend on context.
This presentation, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, illustrates the role and purpose of Promotores de Salud (loose translation of CHWs in Spanish) in the US health care system. It introduces the background and key advantages of Promotores in their local communities. Furthermore, it outlines examples of prevention campaigns and projects where CHWs and Promotores can participate to improve outreach of service delivery in minority and elderly populations.
As the United States transforms its health system, many policymakers are turning to community health workers to tackle some of the most challenging aspects of health improvement, such as facilitating care coordination, enhancing access to community-based services, mitigating the impacts of the social determinants of health, addressing health disparities, and containing costs.
Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of and/or have an unusually close understanding of the community served. Among other roles, they are effective in closing critical communication gap between healthcare providers and patients as they possess key abilities to overcome cultural barriers, minimize disparities, and maximize adherence to clinical directions. In previous descriptions of the selection of CHWs, the role of community is clearly emphasized, but residence in the community is not indicated.
Community health workers (CHWs) can improve outcomes for underserved people. Evidence exists that CHW interventions in underserved populations improve health care management, disease prevention, and health promotion. Community health workers improve management of chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, maternal–child health issues, increase health promotion activities such as vaccinations and cancer screening, and demonstrate net cost savings. Based on this evidence, interest in new CHW models has grown.
Shared during the 2015 American Public Health Association (APHA), this document summarizes CHW certification initiatives, describes certification in Florida and Massachusetts, and shares lessons about certification that may be useful in other states.
The effectiveness of community health workers (CHWs) as health educators and health promoters among Latino populations is widely recognized. The Affordable Care Act created important opportunities to increase the role of CHWs in preventive health. This article describes the implementation of CHW-led, culturally specific, faith-based program to increase physical activity among churchgoing Latinas.
The health status of most ethnic minority groups in Western countries is poorer than the health status of the majority population. This is especially applicable for ethnic minority older adults. Limited access to health care services has been reported to be an important factor for these disparities in health and is in part caused by limited knowledge about health care facilities, language problems, and financial barriers. Intercultural differences in the perception of health needs and reasons for consultation may be other important contributing factors.