Community Health Workers (CHWs)
Community health workers (CHWs) are defined by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics as individuals who:
“Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Conduct outreach for medical personnel or
health organizations to implement programs in the community
that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. May provide information on available
resources, provide social support and informal counseling, advocate for individuals and community health needs,
and provide services such as first aid and blood pressure screening. May collect data to help identify community
CHWs possess many of the same characteristics as the populations they serve. They can be paid workers or
volunteers. Outreach using CHWs has been shown to reduce barriers to care and improve health status for
underserved populations. For more information about CHWs, see the Community Health Worker Toolkit.
Resources to Learn More
Focus: Integrating Community Health Workers into Care Teams
This newsletter describes health care organizations that have integrated CHWs into
Author(s): Hostetter, M. & Klein, S.
Organization(s): The Commonwealth Fund