According to the American Public Health Association, a community health worker (CHW) is a front-line public health worker and either a trusted member of the community served or non-member with a thorough understanding of the dynamics and residents of the community served.
In Kentucky, CHWs work in local health departments, community organizations, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, managed care organizations and other health-related fields. Community health workers in Kentucky work to connect people to vital resources, provide health coaching, prevent hospitalizations, increase management of medications and chronic conditions and improve overall health.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health actively works to advance the CHW profession. Major projects include the creation and implementation of a certification and credentialing process, continuing education credits and outcomes evaluations.
Community Health Worker Advisory Workgroup
The Community Health Worker Advisory Workgroup brings together CHWs, representatives from local health departments, federally qualified health centers, nonprofits, universities and other organizations who employ, want to employ or work with CHWs to share information and advance the CHW profession. The advisory workgroup currently has three subcommittees: certification, evaluation and curriculum.
All are welcome to join and participate in the advisory workgroup. Meetings are held bi-monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 1:30 – 3 p.m. Eastern time at the Kentucky Department for Public Health offices. Meetings may be attended in-person or via conference call.
Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers
The Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers was formed in 2016 to advocate and promote the CHW profession in Kentucky. The association views CHWs as the missing link between the healthcare provider and the client. This relationship plays a key role in improving the health of our communities.
To learn more or become a member, please visit the Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers website.