Community Health Workers (CHWs) are public health workers with unique understanding of the experience, language, and culture of the populations they serve to promote healthy living and to help people take greater control over their health and lives. They are trained to work in a variety of community settings to provide culturally appropriate health education, linking people to direct service providers, and advocating for individual and community needs.

CHWs have been embedded into the public housing system of the Richmond region studied here for almost 10 years. This case study examined the impact of external referrals the CHWs made to address social determinants of health - such as health care, jobs, and education - forming a bridge from the community members to the resources they need.

What next?

  • Policy: Support long-term funding for CHWs
  • Clinical: Incorporate CHWs into health care teams
  • Community: Create opportunities for community members to train to become a certified CHW

A Case Study of a Community Health Worker Program Located in Low-Income Housing in Richmond, Virginia

I. Obasanjo, M. Griffin, A. Scott, S. Oberoi, C. Westhoff, P. Shelton, S. Toney
Journal of Community Health
January 2022