University of Arizona – Arizona Prevention Research Center

Community-Clinic Linkages in Health Promotion: Community Health Workers as Agents in Chronic Disease Prevention over the Life Span


Latinos along the US-Mexico border are disproportionately affected by obesity and other related chronic diseases. Inadequate access to healthy foods, physical activity, and health care services all contribute to chronic disease and affect a population’s well-being. To address chronic disease and related mental health needs among Latinos living in underserved communities on the US-Mexico border (i.e., Southern Arizona), the Arizona Prevention Research Center (AzPRC) will conduct a two-phase research study. Researchers plan to,

  1. Identify clear best practice guidelines for Community Health Workers (CHWs) in clinical settings to monitor and address chronic disease and mental health, and
  2. Establish a CHW program model to strengthen linkages between community health centers and community health prevention services.

The AzPRC researchers will develop best practice guidelines based on practices in three primary care health centers. They will study and describe the differences in CHW activities and roles at each center and collect data to assess their effectiveness in improving client outcomes. The findings will help establish a CHW program model.

Researchers plan to work with two county health departments and two clinics to create a prevention program model. The program model will use CHWs to link primary care settings (committed to reaching the underserved) with effective CHW-delivered community health services provided by county health departments. To test its success, researchers will track clinical data on referred participants and use surveys to examine impact on health behaviors, wellness, and program exposure.

Researcher’s findings and their experience with the CHW program model will be shared through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, annual meetings, and local workshops. They also plan to work with partners (i.e., the Community Action Board) to identify venues to ensure their work is shared with diverse audiences.

Project Identifier Community-Clinic Linkages in Health Promotion: Community Health Workers as Agents in Chronic Disease Prevention over the Life Span

Funding Source PRC Program

Project Status Active

Host Institution University of Arizona

Health Topics Mental health | Obesity & overweight

Research setting Medical or clinical site |U.S./Mexico Border

Race or ethnicity Hispanic or Latino

Gender No specific focus

Age group No specific focus

Contact Information Center
Arizona Prevention Research Center
1295 N. Martin Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85724

Principal Investigator
Scott Carvajal

PRC Deputy Director
Maia Ingram
Phone: (520) 626-2267