Community health worker services are a proven way to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities by ensuring people receive the health care and services they need.
Community health workers are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of the communities they serve. They serve as bridges between the health care system and the people in their communities, helping to ensure that people receive appropriate care and services, that the care is as effective as possible, and that patients are able to take care of their health. Research indicates that community health workers can improve health outcomes and contain costs. This brief provides an overview of what community health workers do, why their role is especially important in the health care system now, and how to advance their effectiveness.
This infographic takes you through a day in the life of a community health worker.
This video provides an overview of what community health workers do and why their work is important to the health system and in reducing health disparities.
Community health workers are known by many different names – including health coaches, outreach workers, and patient navigators. There are many of them already working in Connecticut. Here’s a look at a few different ways community health workers are already working in the state, with examples from New Haven, Hartford, and Norwich.
To get a sense of the health and economic benefits of community health worker-led interventions in Connecticut, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Health Law and Economics designed four potential interventions, based on successful models in other states. Their work provided detailed economic modeling, including return on investment calculations, for four models: addressing asthma in New Haven; controlling diabetes in Hartford; helping frequent emergency department users in New London County; and improving care for cardiovascular disease patients in Windham County. Read the report here. Read a brief version here.
Certifying community health workers can increase the likelihood that their services will be paid for in a sustainable way. This brief provides insights into the approaches other states are taking to certify community health workers, including a table that compares each state.
The Hispanic Health Council developed policy recommendations to promote health care policies related to community health workers that will best serve the needs of people most affected by health inequities. This policy brief provides detailed recommendations on many aspects of community health worker services, including payment, caseloads, training, and how to integrate community health workers into care teams.