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Community Health Worker Professional Advocacy: Voices of Action from the 2014 National Community Health Worker Advocacy Survey

Sabo, Samantha DrPH, MPH; Wennerstrom, Ashley PhD, MPH; Phillips, David BS; Haywoord, Catherine BSW; Redondo, Floribella BS; Bell, Melanie L. PhD; Ingram, Maia MPH

Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: July/September 2015 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 225–235
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000089
Original Articles

This mixed-methods study explores community health worker (CHW) engagement in professional advocacy. Data from the National Community Health Worker Advocacy Survey (n = 1661) assessed the relationship between CHW professional advocacy and CHW demographics, and work characteristics. Qualitative data articulated the quality of professional advocacy efforts. Approximately, 30% of CHW respondents advocated for professional advancement or collaborated with other CHWs to advance the workforce. Advocacy was more prevalent among CHWs affiliated with a professional network. CHW advocacy targeted recognition of the field, appropriate training and compensation, and sustainable funding. CHW professional advocacy is imperative to advancement of the field.

Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Dr Sabo, Mr Phillips, Dr Bell, and Ms Ingram); Louisiana Community Health Worker Institute, Tulane University School of Medicine, and Tulane Prevention Research Center, New Orleans, Louisiana (Dr Wennerstrom); Louisiana Community Health Outreach Network, Tulane Prevention Research Center, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana (Ms Haywood); and Arizona Community Health Worker Outreach Network, Somerton, Arizona (Ms Redondo).

Correspondence: Samantha Sabo, DrPH, MPH, Assistant Professor, Arizona Prevention Research Center, Division of Health Promotion Sciences, Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (

The Arizona Prevention Research Center is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number U48-DP001925. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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