Community health workers
A Community health worker (CHW) is an umbrella term describing community members who assist individuals and communities to adopt health behaviors. CHWs do not require in-depth education, and they may be employed by, or volunteer with, a local health care system.
Generally, CHWs share similar characteristics, such as ethnicity, language and life experiences, with those living in the community they serve. CHWs have training on health interventions but are not necessarily professionally certified or may not have post-secondary education.
A sample of CHW Best Practice Guidelines by Sinai Health System is intended to be a blue print for health care organizations interested in implementing the CHW model in their system or improving upon their current system. These practice guidelines were developed to address gaps in the CHW professional literature and assist health care administrators, public health professionals, health care providers, CHWs, and communities in designing and implementing CHW interventions grounded in evidence-based science.