In Kansas and throughout the country, community health workers (CHWs) are also known by names including health navigator, promotor(a), advocate, and educator. CHWs serve as a bridge between community members and the medical and social services they need, but their role and importance has been less well known than that of other frontline health workers.
The Kansas Community Health Worker Coalition defines a community health worker as a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery (definition adapted from the American Public Health Association, 2016).
The Health Fund supports CHW initiatives because we see value in the training and deployment of culturally-competent community health workers. Our prior investments have helped define the community health worker field and build capacity of the CHW effort in Kansas. Currently, we are funding a pilot program that supports five CHW positions across Kansas. As part of this project, Health Fund staff have established a learning community to support CHWs and their team as they participate in the program. The learning community serves as a platform to share lessons learned across sites and utilize outside experts.
– Kansas CHW Coalition
– CHW Certification
– Kansas CHW Map
– KDHE CHW Information
– Policymaker Brief
– Listen: Kansas certification for community health workers
– Community Health Workers in Kansas
– 2022 Webinar: Community Health Workers – Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities
– New certification program promises better health care experiences for Kansans