The Community Health Worker (CHW) program at Baylor Scott & White Health has brought tremendous value to the organization and patients in the community.
As defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services, a CHW is a liaison and provides cultural mediation between health care, social services, and the community.
CHWs are trusted members of the community and have a close understanding, of the ethnicity, language, socio-economic status, and life experiences of the community served. CHWs help people receive needed services and increase health knowledge. They also work to improve self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, patient navigation and follow-up, community health education and information, informal counseling, social support, advocacy, and participation in clinical research.
The following table displays CHW Program Outcomes from Baylor Scott & White Health. This table highlights the difference in patient hospital admissions when a care navigator (CHW) is used versus when one is not used (usual care).
The Baylor Scott & White Health STEEEP Global Institute can help organizations with the following items related to developing a CHW program:
- Workforce Building: Assist with developing a CHW workforce, job descriptions, defining roles, and outlining desired scopes of practice.
- Strategic Planning: Facilitate dialogue and planning with leadership to integrate program design concepts into a strategic plan and support key priorities to help address health disparities.
- Ongoing Consulting and Coaching: Provide on-site and off-site consulting and technical assistance to further advance the CHW workforce.
- Social Needs Assessments: Assist with developing and implementing a community social needs assessment.
- Organizational Assessment Site Visit: Conduct site visits to assess policies, programs, facilities, and practices as needed.
- Guidance for Community Partnerships: Provide on-site and off-site guidance for development of outreach opportunities and community partnerships.