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Impact of Community Health Workers on Access, Use of Services, and Patient Knowledge and Behavior

Zuvekas, Ann DPA; Nolan, Lea MA; Tumaylle, Carol MPH; Griffin, Laura MPH

Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: October 1999 - Volume 22 - Issue 4 - p 33–44
Community Health Centers
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Community health workers have been used in health centers for several decades. Known by various names (e.g., community health advisors, outreach workers, promotoras), they are trusted community members providing informal community-based health-related services and establishing vital links between health providers and the community. They perform many functions, including outreach and case finding, health education, translation, patient transportation, and case management (under the supervision of a nurse or social worker). This article, based on a study of community health worker programs at seven sites, is intended to share the lessons learned that could be helpful to other program managers and to examine the outcomes of such programs.

Research Professor, Center for Health Services Research and Policy, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC (Zuvekas)

Research Scientist, Center for Health Services Research and Policy, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC (Nolan)

Research Associate, Center for Health Services Research and Policy, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC (Tumaylle)

Bureau of Primary Health Care, U.S. Public Health Service, Bethesda, MD (Griffin)

This research was conducted under contract 240-96-0701 of the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Copyright © 1999 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.