Over the years, the access and insight CHWs have into their communities has supported successful health initiatives across the globe. Their understanding of local culture, language, and resources allows them to be effective at addressing emerging health challenges in any geographic location of any cultural make-up and across various age groups. The variety of communities served means that CHW-led programs can look very different yet share the same common goal: to improve health outcomes in communities that are underserved and under-resourced.
In these communities, access to health services is often restricted due to factors such as economic status, language, race/ethnicity, gender, age, geographic location, access to transportation, and availability of culturally appropriate health information. These barriers impact one’s ability to find affordable fresh foods, keep appointments with health professionals, adopt healthier habits, and apply for health care and services.
CHWs empathize with these complex life situations and are uniquely qualified to provide support to address these challenges by connecting individuals to community resources, organizations, and government programs that often provide free or low-cost services.