Community Health Workers: Uniquely positioned to make communities healthier
No one knows a community better than the people who live there. Someone who has spent a lifetime in Tuba City, Seligman, or Yuma knows the people who live there, what makes the community unique, and what health care solutions are needed.
That’s the idea behind the Community Health Worker movement, which has roots in Arizona stretching more than 50 years. That includes Community Health Representatives in our state’s tribal communities dating back to the 1960s, and the Arizona promotora movement in Yuma in the 1980s.
Community Health Workers are frontline public health workers who are trusted members or have a deep understanding of the communities they serve. They use their understanding of the people and cultures across Arizona to improve health, address social issues that can result in better health outcomes, reduce costs of care, and make the local health system more responsive to the needs of each community.
Certification of Community Health Workers, which is available as of today at azhealth.gov/CHW, contributes to further professionalization and sustainability of the workforce and can help facilitate reimbursement of services they deliver.
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