Community Health Worker (CHW) Toolkit
CHWs are trained public health workers who serve as a bridge between communities, health care systems, and state health departments.
Resources on this page include:
- Online courses, lessons learned, and best practices to help state health departments train and further build capacity for CHWs in their communities.
- Training and education materials for CHWs to use within their communities.
These resources focus on state policies and laws related to CHW certification.
- Policy Brief: Facilitating the Use of Community Health Workers in Health Delivery Systems [PDF – 623 KB]
This resource discusses state-level policy options and their possible effects on the services provided by CHWs. This policy brief is a companion to the policy evidence assessment report What Evidence Supports State Laws to Establish Community Health Worker Scope of Practice and Certification? which assesses evidence for 2 types of Community Health Worker policy interventions addressed in existing state laws to inform state decision makers and public health organizations.
- Online Course: Promoting Policy and Systems Change to Expand Employment of Community Health Workers
This six-session online course provides state programs and other stakeholders with basic knowledge about CHWs, such as official definitions of CHWs, workforce development, and other topic areas. The course covers how states can become engaged in system changes and examples of successful states.
- Policy Brief: Addressing Chronic Disease through Community Health Workers [PDF-1.1M]
This resource demonstrates the value and impact of CHWs in preventing and managing a variety of chronic diseases. In addition, this resource includes descriptions of chronic disease programs that are engaging CHWs, examples of state legislative action, and resources to build an integrated and sustainable CHW workforce.
- Report: Community Health Worker Policy Evidence Assessment Report [PDF-1.1M]
This resource summarizes policies that are reflected in successful CHW programs and/or CHW laws. For each component, the report provides its level of evidence (i.e., best, promising, or emerging) based on quality and impact scores.
- Summary: Community Health Worker Policy Evidence Assessment Report [PDF-231K]
This resource summarizes the key findings of the CHW Policy Evidence Assessment Report.
- Summary: State Laws for Community Health Workers [PDF-680K]
This resource presents a summary of states with select CHW laws in effect as of December 2012 and highlights Massachusetts as an example.
Implementation and Evaluation Resources
This section provides applied research findings and best practices in implementing, evaluating, and engaging with CHWs.
- Best Practices Guide for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
This guide describes and summarizes scientific evidence behind 8 effective strategies for lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Community Preventive Services Task Force Findings: Interventions Engaging Community Health Workers for Cardiovascular Disease and Control
This resource presents recommendations and findings about interventions that engage CHWs to prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Field Note: Clinical-Community Health Worker Initiative in the Mississippi Delta to Improve Cardiovascular Disease [PDF-246K]
This resource highlights the structure, processes, and outcomes of an initiative in the Mississippi Delta that integrates CHWs in health care facilities, barbershops, and churches. Initiative goals and objectives and the reach and impact as of 2014 are outlined.
- Field Note: The St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Community Health Team Model to Improve Coordination of Care [PDF-656K]
This resource highlights structure, processes, and outcomes of the St. Johnsbury, Vermont Community Health Team, which includes CHWs, to improve the coordination of care to address chronic disease conditions. Initiative goals and objectives and the reach and impact as of 2012 are outlined.
- Implementation Guide for Public Health Practitioners: The St. Johnsbury Community Health Team Model [PDF-1.6M]
This resource is a comprehensive overview of the core elements of the St. Johnsbury, Vermont Community Health Team (CHT) Model. This guide provides information on how to start a CHT in your community along with steps for planning an evaluation for a CHW program.
- Summary: CDC Support for Community Health Workers in Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [PDF-274K]
This resource provides basic information on who CHWs are, how they support the priority domains of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), a list of funded partners engaged in CHW strategies, and NCCDPHP products about and for CHWs.
- Technical Assistance Guide: Community Health Workers Technical Assistance Guide for 1305 Grantees [PDF-515K]
This resource serves as a support tool for funded state partners who are implementing CHW strategies in health systems and community-clinical linkages.
Training and Educational Resources
This section provides resources that could be used to train public health professionals interested in the CHW field or as a training tool or job aid to build the knowledge, skills, and abilities of CHWs focused on cardiovascular disease control.
- Community Health Worker Training Resource
This resource is a reference for CHWs and a curriculum that health educators, nurses, and other instructors can use to train CHWs. The sourcebook contains information and activities on heart disease and stroke and on the major risk factors for these diseases in adults. Because the sourcebook contains some technical information, it is recommended for CHWs who already have some experience in their profession. Continuing education (0.9 CEU, 9.5 CHES, and 10.0 CPH credits) are available for this course on TCOnline for the renewal period of December 31, 2016–December 31, 2018.
Download the training resource in English or Spanish:
- Promotora Guide: How to Control Your Fat and Cholesterol [PDF-783K]
This resource serves as a job aide for CHWs and promotoras de salud to use with the Fotonovela: How to Control Your Fat and Cholesterol.
- Fotonovela: How to Control Your Fat and Cholesterol [PDF-3.7M]
This resource was designed for CHWs and promotoras de salud to read with community members to help them learn about how to control their cholesterol.
- Guía de la Promotora: Cómo controlar la grasa y el colesterol [PDF-831K]
- Fotonovela: Cómo controlar la grasa y el colesterol [PDF-4.1M]
- Summary: Community Health Workers Role in Million Hearts® Initiative [PDF-309K]
This resource provides information on how CHWs and promotores de salud can work together with CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help reach goals of the Million Hearts® Initiative. Specifically, it provides examples of CHWs’ roles with people at risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol by supporting them in their health care needs and promoting better lifestyle choices.
- Resumen: El papel de los promotores en la iniciativa de Million Hearts® [PDF-438K]
Literature Summary: Science-in-Brief
Science-in-Briefs provide a short synopsis of newly published articles, a summary of the article findings, and how these findings might be applied to cardiovascular health promotion.
- February 2016: Do State Community Health Worker Laws Align with Best Available Evidence? [PDF – 352 KB]
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
This section provides a list of CHW-related peer-reviewed journal articles authored and/or co-authored by DHDSP staff.
- Allen C, Brownstein JN, Jayapaul-Philip B, Matos S, Mirambeau A. Strengthening the effectiveness of state-level community health worker initiatives through ambulatory care partnerships. J Ambul Care Manage 2015 Jul–Sep;38(3):254–62. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000085.
- Barbero C, Gilchrist S, Chriqui JF, Martin M, Wennerstrom A, VanderVeur J, Prewitt K, Brownstein JN. Do state community health worker laws align with best available evidence? J Community Health 2016 Apr;41(2):315–25. doi: 10.1007/s10900-015-0098-x.
- Page last reviewed: May 23, 2018
- Page last updated: May 23, 2018
- Content source: