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Collaborating with community health workers to enhance the coordination of care and advance health equity
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  • Description:
    As part of health care teams, community health workers (CHWs) can be valuable resources for increasing the effectiveness of public health practitioners. CHWs are members of the community who serve as advocates and liaisons between the community and the health care and social service systems. They provide services that improve health care access and education to promote understanding of health problems and how to navigate the health care system. CHWs can provide informal counseling and perform minor clinical services, such as checking blood pressure in nonclinical settings. They can translate and promote understanding when patients receive health services. By integrating CHWs into health care teams, public health practitioners can better address health inequities in underserved communities where CHWs provide services.

    This brief examines how CHWs can help address rising health care costs and poor health among underserved communities. It provides a detailed description of CHWs, their work settings, and the services that they provide. It offers guidance on how public health practitioners can collaborate with CHWs to enhance the coordination of health care and advance health equity. The summary statement discusses the importance of integrating CHWs into health care teams. To supplement the information provided, the brief also includes a list of resources such as tool kits and e-trainings.

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