Community Health Workers
If you provide services to clients under one of these titles, you are a Community Health Worker.
You are welcome here!
The Anatomy of a Community Health Worker
Definition of a Community Health Worker
A 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 community health worker 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 (APHA, 2000).
Roles and Core CompetenciesNationally, a successful CHW is proficient in:
- Cultural mediation among individuals, communities, and health and social service systems
- Providing coaching and social support
- Providing culturally-appropriate health education and information
- Care coordination, case management, and system navigation
- Providing direct services
- Building individual and community capacity
- Advocating for individuals and communities
- Implementing individual and community assessments
- Conducting outreach
- Participating in evaluation and research
Additionally, Indiana's CHWs are proficient in:
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal and relationship-building skills
- Service coordination and navigation skills
- Capacity building skills
- Advocacy skills
- Education and facilitation skills
- Individual and community assessment skills
- Outreach skills
- Professional skills and conduct
- Evaluation and research skills
- Knowledge base
CHWs embody the following qualities:
- Connected to the community
- Interpersonal warmth
- Trustworthiness and mature
- Commitment to social justice
- Good psychological health
- Self-awareness and understanding
Indiana's Community Health Workers
Who are Indiana's CHWs?
What do Indiana's CHWs do?
Where are Indiana's CHWs?
Benefits of having a CHW on your care team:
Community health workers (CHWs) help reduce educational, cultural, and language barriers between patients and healthcare providers.
Community health workers (CHWs) help patients prevent costly medical expenses by supporting self-management and coaching patients in disease prevention.
Community health workers (CHWs) help patients adhere to provider recommendations by connecting them to community-based resources.