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 now include 80 stakeholder members across the Commonwealth.
The groups were created to help act on the information 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
The objective is to create and distribute a strategic
plan and toolkit by September 2016 that compiles the deliverables and
recommendations from the three task forces described below. Each group meets
about once a month via conference calls.