A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. (American Public Health Association)

Recognized as professional members of the health care workforce who effectively address social determinants of health and reduce health disparities (US Department of Health and Human Services)

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Outreach and community mobilization
  • Community/cultural liaison
  • Case management and care coordination
  • Home-based support
  • Health promotion and health coaching
  • System navigation
  • Participatory research

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Notes/Citation Information

A poster presentation at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s 9th Annual Spring Conference in Lexington, KY.