Community Health Workers can work to address a variety of health issues, and they take many different approaches to promoting health. Community Health Workers and Community Health Worker programs can support health departments in accomplishing the following goals:
Address social determinants of health by referring patients to complimentary and supportive services such as housing, food, transportation, or legal assistance.
Provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to a community.
Connect with underserved or at risk populations and improve access to services within a community.
Reduce barriers to care by providing outreach services to increase community awareness of health department services and available support.
Why Community Health Workers?
Community Health Workers are culturally competent mediators or health brokers between health service provides and members of diverse communities and are effective in promoting the use of primary and follow-up care to prevent and manage disease. Community Health Worker programs have been shown to be effective in addressing a range of “health care concerns, including asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, immunizations, maternal and child health, nutrition, tuberculosis, and HIV and AIDS“.*
There has been noted success in programs using Community Health Workers in social service delivery, coordinating access to social services and providing recommendations to available resources. Community Health Workers often share the same racial and ethnic background, socioeconomic status, and language as the people they serve and have a deep understanding of the cultural and social contexts where people live, providing them with a strong foundation for building a trusting relationship with the individuals and families they support.**
Large scale health initiatives have used Community Health Worker programs to recruit program participants, provide health education, and service as a bridge between clinical providers and program participants. Through the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Program (REACH), Community Health Workers are used as a “grassroots empowerment strategies to reduce health inequities among various populations and to improve health outcomes.” Community Health Worker services include education and disease case management (for heart disease and stroke, diabetes, prenatal care, immunizations, breast and cervical cancer, and asthma) as well as promoting change in the social environment, systems and policy (school wellness programs, access to healthy foods, and more).*
Community Health Worker Core Competencies Training: Whether you are preparing to launch your Community Health Worker program or want to reinforce the skills of Community Health Workers in an existing program, these training modules cover key knowledge areas to prepare Community Health Workers for success in a range of settings.
Supervisor Essential Skills: These training modules provide the skills needed to design, evaluate, and supervise Community Health Worker programs.
Administrator Training: We offer a range of in-depth training modules on Community Health Worker programs, Community Assessments and Strategic Planning to provide administrators with the tools that they need to make high-level organizational decisions.
Mental Health Program Implementation: This gives you the tools you need to educate your community about mental health and help provide referral services and support to community members in need of assistance.
Community Outreach Program Implementation: Effective outreach is a key component of promoting your health department services and our proven outreach program can be personalized to your program type to help you start an outreach program.