Community Health Workers

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Community Health Workers

Who are Community Health Workers (CHWs)?

CHWs are trusted members of the community who promote good health and nutrition among community residents. Their training and focus is on education and health system navigation rather than direct provision of health care services. 

CHWs may be known by a variety of titles, including community health advisor, lay health worker, community health representative, promotora or pormotores de salud, or health coaches. 

What is the status of CHWs in Pennsylvania?

In September 2015, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, and the Eastcentral Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center to launch three Community Health Worker (CHW) task forces and one steering group in Pennsylvania. These groups included 80 stakeholder members across the Commonwealth.  The three workgroups that were created – policy, training, and employer – worked together to create guidance to promote the CHW workforce.

Information and feedback were provided to the workgroups from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s April 2015 CHW Statewide Policy Summit in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health’s and Eastcentral Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center’s May 2015 CHW Summit in State College, CHW framing papers, PA Environmental Scan of Community Health Workers, and all of the past local CHW conferences that have occurred in communities across Pennsylvania.

All latest documents and reports developed by the CHW workgroups are below.