Community Health Workers (CHWs) are uniquely qualified to address the needs of underserved Latino communities. Community Health Workers reach community members “where they are”, meaning that they are able to relate to community members by speaking the same language, sharing a common culture, and actively go out into the community to identify individuals in need of services. These qualities allow CHWs to build strong relationships with community members and empower them to identify and fulfill their individual needs. There is a wealth of evidence that CHWs can improve health concerns like asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, immunizations, maternal and child health and HIV/AIDs. Not only are CHW programs effective, but they are a low-cost way to improve the health of patients and communities. MHP Salud regularly conducts return on investment (ROI) analyses to determine the financial benefits of its programs. Cada Paso del Camino, a cancer screening and education program, demonstrated a ROI of $3.09 for every $1 spent. Another program, Salud y Vida, a diabetes management program, had a ROI of $1.09 for every $1 spent. Read more about return on investment for CHW programs here.
Underserved communities also often face barriers to receiving health care and other essential services. As a result, they often experience higher rates of illness and disease, commonly referred to as health disparities. These barriers can include(but are not limited to):