Community Health Workers
CHWs are front line public health workers who have a strong understanding of communities they serve. This trusting relationship enables CHWs to serve as liaisons, links and intermediaries between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. CHWs also build 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.
RHECs I, V, IX and X embraced this concept and identified CHWs as one of their priority areas. Members of the four RHECs formed an ad hoc workgroup and later established a formal cross-RHEC CHW Committee to discuss national CHW efforts and identify opportunities for collaboration. RHEC members are expected to collaborate with CHWs and/or CHW stakeholders.