This document provides guidance and resources for implementing recommendations to integrate community health workers (CHWs) into community-based efforts to prevent chronic disease. After providing general information on CHWs in the United States, this document sets forth evidence demonstrating the value and impact of CHWs in preventing and managing a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
For decades, community health workers (CHWs) have played a critical role in public health efforts in Massachusetts to improve population health and to ensure that all residents of the state receive quality services. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has long been a national leader in supporting the CHW workforce through programmatic and policy initiatives.
The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. Our mission is to promote community health and development by connecting people, ideas, and resources.
The Tool Box consists of 46 chapters with topics ranging from community assessment to strategic planning to leadership and management. Each chapter also contains a related toolkit that can be utilized by your organization or used as a teaching tool.
This report includes many excellent suggestions for how CHWs can be meaningfully incorporated into our four key Innovation Plan initiatives - Accountable Communities for Health, Health Homes for Patients with Complex Needs, Maternity Care, and Palliative Care - to improve health outcomes for California's diverse populations.
Socioeconomic and behavioral factors can negatively influence posthospital outcomes among patients of low socioeconomic status (SES). Traditional hospital personnel often lack the time, skills, and community linkages required to address these factors. During hospital admission, CHWs worked with patients to create individualized action plans for achieving patients’ stated goals for recovery. The CHWs provided support tailored to patient goals for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Healthy People 2020, the nation’s health objectives for the current decade, defines health equity as the “attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.” Such goals aren’t unfamiliar to public health practitioners.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a policy framework to re-imagine a system of care that emphasizes health and wellness through new models of primary care and population health interventions. These new models offer the potential to deliver care services at a lower cost, to detect and treat disease earlier, to deploy data and technology to improve population health outcomes, and to address social and environmental conditions that impede efforts to improve health.
CDC has compiled evidence-based research that supports the effectiveness of CHWs in the Community Health Worker Toolkit. The toolkit also includes information that state health departments can use to train and further build capacity for CHWs in their communities, as well as helpful resources that CHWs can use within their communities.
Disparities across racial and socioeconomic lines in the utilization of health care services and in patient outcomes continue to plague healthcare systems in the U.S. (AHRQ, 2008; Smedley, 2003; Children’s Defense Fund, 2006).
This document provides guidance and resources for implementing recommendations to integrate community health workers (CHWs) into community-based efforts to prevent chronic disease. After providing general information on CHWs in the United States, it sets forth evidence demonstrating the value and impact of CHWs in preventing and managing a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, descriptions are offered of chronic disease programs that are engaging