Welcome to the
Community Health Worker Program at CHI
What is a
Community Health Worker?
"The Community Health Workers (CHWs) program represents a development opportunity in a growing career path that now spans beyond the traditional health professional options, creating unique choices for those looking to make a living by helping citizens live healthier lives. We are thrilled to partner with the Force for Health Academy to bring this curriculum to the public in early 2019."
-Dr. Gina Weisblat,
Creator & Innovator
WHAT COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS DO
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are frontline health advocates working with underserved groups that traditionally lack access to care. While the health care system increasingly struggles to meet the needs of patients and communities, CHWs have filled the role of advocate and a bridge between the community and health system. Health system challenges are exacerbated by the adverse influence of social determinants of health on the ability of the individual and community to seek and maintain good health. Additionally, health disparities often impact an individual’s ability to connect to and utilize the health system, which also impacts a person’s ability to achieve positive health outcomes. As health care costs continue to rise, insurance companies, employers, and the government are searching for methods to improve the quality of health care and health outcomes, while at the same time reducing costs. The CHW model is an important component of broader initiatives that aim to help communities understand and identify ways to assist residents to live healthy lives.
For the first time since the 1930s, the per capita number of physicians is projected to drop, increasing disparities in access to care. Estimates suggest that the United States will see severe shortages in health care professionals over the next 20 years. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the nation will have a shortage of 91,500 doctors by 2020, with a shortfall of more than 60,000 primary care providers and 31,000 specialists (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2008; Dill & Salsberg, 2008; Newton & Grayson, 2003). Similar shortages are predicted in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professions (Building Engineering and Science Talent, 2003), many of which support health care through discovery and innovation. One new and innovative approach to reducing the impact of physician shortages is the use of CHWs. Community Health Workers are uniquely trained to facilitate access, improve knowledge, and engagement of the health care system, and are an important part of the comprehensive health care team.
COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS AND THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Community Health Workers are a critical part of the future health care system. Through their training, expertise, and knowledge of the community, they will fill the gaps within the system that no other profession can currently fulfill.
The Affordable Care Act directly states that chronic diseases should be diminished and public health improved (Title IV). Many of the services mentioned within this section can be directly impacted and enhanced by usage of CHWs. More specifically, the Affordable Care Act identifies preventive services and services which slow the progression of chronic disease as services, which initiated by a licensed provider can, in fact, be provided by a CHW.
Many other states have already incorporated CHWs into the health care system through hospitals, physician’s offices, and other community based organizations, and have begun to realize the fiscal benefits of Medicaid reimbursement for CHW services. This comprehensive inclusion of CHWs into all health areas has shown a dramatic decrease in emergency room usage, decreased health care costs, and overall improved health.
TEAMING UP WITH THE FORCE FOR HEALTH ACADEMY
Our community has needs that we can address more efficiently if we connect, contribute, communicate and collaborate more effectively, which is exactly what this CHI partnership with The Force for Health® is designed to do.
The Force for Health® Project began as part of the J. C Blair Health System Community Health Needs Assessment Implementation Plan in Pennsylvania, with a team, under the leadership of Dr. Robert Gillio, and is growing to be a movement empowering our people and organizations to work together as a force for health for each other.
The Force for Health Academy will provide the on-line courses, certification and delivery systems of the Community Health Workers (CHWs) Program
Citizenship Health Institute Partners up with The Force for Health® Academy
to launch CHW courses starting in 2019
“The Community Health Worker, or CHW, is special career opportunity to become “the trusted person in the community, caring for a citizen that needs assistance”. This is how it was explained to me by an Eskimo leader in Alaska and then later by Dr. Paul Farmer as he described his work in Africa.
In America, it is becoming a destination on a career pathway towards health care and is a respected professional, paid by hospitals, communities and insurance companies to help in the care of their clients. I have seen first hand how these trained neighbors, save lives, reduce the need for admissions to hospitals and improve the overall quality of life. ”
Dr. Robert Gillio, Force for Health and Community Health Worker Program, Chief Medical Director
The Community Health Worker curriculum is coming this year...
CHW’s will be able to JOIN the Force for Health® Academy
and work on their own health issues,
as they learn how to help others with TEAMS or HPAC’s and eventually as CHW’s.
Full Access to
Force for Health Courses
CHW’s will be able to JOIN the Force for Health with full access to more than a dozen digital media making platforms, which will help them work on their own health issues first, as they learn how to help others with TEAMS or HPAC’s and eventually as CHW’s.
to VIVA Library
CHW’s will have access to training tools such as the VIVA videos to help them learn more about the human anatomy. CHW's will learn how to create, distribute & analyze population health related issues through multi-media based outreach strategies for greater impact
Full Access to Zoom & other tech & digital media tools
CHW's will have the use of ZOOM telemeeting technology to have face to face meetings with health care professionals or other social service workers as they help their clients regain or retain their health.