Articles are frequently published about CHWs, both in peer-reviewed publications and in popular media. Additionally, several national groups and organizations have released CHW recommendations, endorsements, or statements legitimizing the use of CHWs within health and human service systems and the communities they serve.
Note: Several reports reference the PPACA. To learn more about this law, please refer to our National Policy page.
Community Preventive Services Task Force 2015: The Community Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, nonfederal, unpaid panel of public health and prevention experts that publishes evidence-based recommendations in The Community Guide, connected to the CDC. The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends interventions that engage community health workers for diabetes prevention to improve glycemic (blood sugar) control and weight-related outcomes among people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes in its paper, “Diabetes Prevention: Interventions Engaging Community Health Workers Improve Risk Factors and Health Outcomes.”
C3 2016: The Community Health Worker (CHW) Core Consensus (C3) Project offers recommendations for national consideration related to CHW core roles (scope of practice), core skills, and core qualities (skills and qualities are collectively defined as competencies). After phase one of activity, the C3 Project released its first report, “Understanding Scope and Competencies: A Contemporary Look at the United States Community Health Worker Field,” in July 2016. MiCHWA’s CHW Network served as report reviewer and endorser. Future reports to follow.
National Health Policy Forum 2015: The National Health Policy Forum released the forum session summary paper, “Coaching, Connecting, Collaborating: The Community Health Worker’s Role in Primary Care.”
IOM 2015: The National Academy of Medicine released the discussion paper, “Bringing Community Health Workers into the Mainstream of U.S. Health Care.” The authors state, “Scaling up the use of CHWs presents a unique set of obstacles, but it is also possible to chart a roadmap forward. The potential to improve care for vulnerable populations, help achieve the Triple Aim of better care, better health and lower costs, and advance population health is too promising to be deterred.”
CHWA 2015: The California Health Workforce Alliance, in coordination with the Public Health Institute, released “Community Health Workers in California: Sharpening Our Focus on Strategies to Expand Engagement” in January 2015.
CDC 2014: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention released “Policy Evidence Assessment Report: Community Health Worker Policy Components” in September 2014. Per the website, “The Community Health Worker Policy Evidence Assessment Report summarizes the evidence bases for community health worker policies to inform researchers, evaluators, and practitioners.”
Urban Institute 2014: The Urban Institute released three papers and one case study on Community Health Workers in March 2014. Per their website, “This project assessed how CHWs can help achieve better care, better health, and lower costs—the key goals of reform—and what action steps can further integrate CHWs into evolving health care and public health. This series of papers, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2012, drew upon relevant literature and interviews of both experts and practitioners.”
The papers are as follows:
- Integrating Community Health Workers into a Reformed Health Care System
- The Evolution, Expansion, and Effectiveness of Community Health Workers
- Opportunities for Community Health Workers in the Era of Health Reform
- Promising Approaches to Integrating Community Health Workers into Health Systems: Four Case Studies
SUHI 2014: The Sinai Urban Health Institute released a comprehensive report detailing “Best Practice Guidelines for Implementing and Evaluating Community Health Worker Programs in Health Care Settings” in January 2014. SUHI conducts research and evaluation on Community Health Worker programs in and around the city of Chicago, as detailed by their publication list.
CHWA 2013: The California Healthcare Workforce Alliance through the Public Health Institute released “Taking Innovation to Scale: Community Health Workers, Promotores, and the Triple Aim — A Statewide Assessment of the Roles and Contributions of California’s Community Health Workers” in August 2013 including recommendations to move the workforce forward.
CEPAC 2013: New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC) met in June 2013 to discuss the impact of community health workers, ultimately producing the “Community Health Workers: A Review of Program Evolution, Evidence on Effectiveness and Value, and Status of Workforce Development in New England” report
CEPAC released three action guides following the meeting:
- Guidance for the CHW Workforce
- Guidance for Organizations working with CHWs
- Guidance for Health Insurers
ASTHO 2012: The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, “Improving Cancer Prevention and Control: How State Health Agencies Can Support Patient Navigators and Community Health Workers,” discusses how state health agencies can improve sustainability of CHW programs as part of health reform to improve health outcomes
CDC Policy Brief 2011: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, “Addressing Chronic Disease through Community Health Workers: A policy and systems level approach – a policy brief on community health workers,” discusses the need for a systems-level approach to CHW sustainability
National Prevention Council 2011: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, “The National Prevention Strategy, identifies CHWs are effective interventions in multiple places within the report (Note: the Council’s 2012 National Prevention Council Action Plan recommends increased use of health care teams that, per the ACA, are composed of several professionals including community health workers)
HHS 2011: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities,” cites promotion of community health workers as part of the health workforce to reduce these disparities and cites the PPACA as support for their use
National Health Plan to Improve Health Literacy 2010: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “National Action Place to Improve Health Literacy,” recommends use of patient navigators and community health workers to improve the health care delivery system and connect patients to needed resources and services
AADE 2010: American Association of Diabetes Educators, “Community Health Workers in Diabetes Management and Prevention AADE Position Paper”, recommends continued use and study of CHWs are part of a diabetes management and care team
Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010: This federal bureau released a standard occupational classification for community health workers:
“Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. May provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, advocate for individuals and community health needs, and provide services such as first aid and blood pressure screening. May collect data to help identify community health needs. Excludes “Health Educators” (21-1091).
Illustrative examples: Peer Health Promoter, Lay Health Advocate”
AHRQ 2009: U.S. Agency for Health Care Quality and Research, “Outcomes of Community Health Worker Interventions” report, concludes that CHWs are a means of serving underserved patient populations with some health care conditions, recommends improved effectiveness research
APHA 2009, APHA 2001: American Public Health Association, 2009: “Support for Community Health Workers to Increase Health Access and to Reduce Health Inequities,” includes endorsement of CHWs and of the CHW Section definition of CHW; 2001: “Recognition and Support for Community Health Workers’ Contributions to Meeting our Nation’s Health Care Needs,” acknowledges CHW contributions while calling for greater standards of CHW programs
NCSL Policy Brief 2008: National Conference of State Legislatures: “Community Health Workers: Expanding the Scope of the Health Care Delivery System,” discusses integration into health care teams serving Medicaid populations to reach underserved populations and policy implications of CHW integration into health care systems and with Medicaid
AACHW Code of Ethics 2008: The American Association of Community Health Workers endorsed a national code of ethics for CHWs—this Code is also found the in the 2009 book “Foundations for Community Health Workers”
HRSA 2007: Health Resources and Services Administration, “Community Health Worker National Workforce Study,” reports results of a national study of the CHW workforce
Family Strengthening Policy Center 2006: Family Strengthening Policy Center, “Community health workers: closing gaps in families’ health resources, policy brief no. 14,” discusses use of CHWs and identifies gaps in CHW sustainability and CHW standards, makes policy recommendations to assist in CHW sustainability
National Fund for Medical Education 2006: National Fund for Medical Education, “Advancing Community health worker practice and utilization: the focus on financing,” explores cost effectiveness of CHW programs while also looking at sustainable funding models and direction for future CHW research
AMA 2003: American Medical Association House of Delegates Meeting, “Health Literacy in America: The Role of Health Care Professionals,” endorses CHWs as a way to improve health literacy disparities
IOM 2002: Institute of Medicine, “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,” supports use of CHWs as interpreters and as members of multidisciplinary teams
NCHAS 1998: University of Arizona, “National Community Health Advisor Study,” foundational study of CHWs nationwide including recommendations of CHW core competencies and roles