For 50 years, the American Public Health Association has been the driving force in highlighting the vital role of the community health worker (CHW) in underserved communities. CHWs are trained, non-medical professionals who live in the communities they serve—they are experts in their respective languages, cultures, values, and perceptions of interacting with health care personnel. They also assist community members in navigating our complex health care system, making medical information understandable, and advocating for vulnerable populations who do not have a voice of their own. Both state and the federal government have recognized their invaluable contributions to public health. However, to maximize their abilities and impact, CHWs require high quality training informed by valid research.
In 2016 HER and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation joined forces to create HER’s Community Health Worker Institute. The institute focuses on workforce research to explore the impact and needs of these health care heroes, which will inform trainings across the state that include the latest evidence-based practice and technology.
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