What are Community Health Workers?

The American Public Health Association defines a community health worker as a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.

Community Health Workers in Arizona's Workforce

The term Community Health Worker describes many roles in our health-care system, acting as a broad term for a specific mission: to be a culturally competent resource of health information and health resources for the community. In 2015 over 1,000 Community Health Workers were employed throughout the state of Arizona, serving 15 counties and 19 First People Tribes. Arizona is a diverse state serving a diverse population, which calls for a diverse workforce of Community Health Workers. In Arizona, Community Health Representatives, Promatoras de Salud, and Community Health Workers contribute to community-based healthcare, often providing first-line health education and disease prevention.

Community Health Worker Core Competencies

In 2016 Arizona adopted the Core Competencies from the Community Health Worker Core Consensus (C3) Project. AzCHOW and the state of Arizona recognize these 10 skills as the foundation of an effective Community Health Worker: Professional Conduct - Communication - Outreach - Relationship Building - Assessment - Knowledge Base - Education and Facilitation - Service Coordination - Advocacy - Capacity Building