Community Health Worker Roles

What is/are the role(s) of community health workers within these programs? Looks like many opportunities exist (education, empowering patients, connecting to pharmacists for MTM or organizations for ongoing IEDoH, OEDoH, SDoH needs, etc.). Thank you!

Specific to the Asthma-Safe Homes Program, we have some organizations implementing that use CHWs in the asthma educator role. Our asthma health services initiative does not specifiy credentials for the asthma educators, since we provide tailored education and protocol for conducting environmental walkthrough and providing asthma education. Additionally, we require that the organization's asthma educators attend the Asthma Educator's Institute (AE-C training) offered by American Lung Association, even if they don't sit for the test, before implementing the program. Our past and current organizations implementing asthma home visiting have/had asthma educators who are CHWs, respiratory therapists, RNs, LPNs, etc.

While we are just in the infancy of analyzing the results from the patient voice focus group and online survey - we are seeing a commonality of a desire for health liasons to assist patients during provider encounters to aid in their understanding and to advocate for their needs. Our team will begin to formulate these findings and assess the best approach to meet these identified needs. We may explore CHWs as a potetial resource. 

It's great that Asthma Educators take the AE-C training but can implement the program before sitting for test. That test is very difficult to pass, especially for CHW not trained in PFTs and the like. I am a strong proponent for the test being revamped in light of the high fail rate.