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What is a Community Health Worker?

“The CHW is 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 CHW 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. The CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.”  American Public Health Association Policy Statement 2009-1, November 2009


Organizations and individuals interested in the community health workers are invited to participate in the Montana CHW Stakeholder Project.  The project is designed to

  1.    Convene stakeholders to address curriculum and training
  2.    Examine the role of CHWs in new care models and community settings
  3.    Provide a structure to engage stakeholders to create policies, training, and standards that support CHWs in Montana
  4.   Create a knowledge base on the effectiveness of CHWs addressing social determinants of health, health outcomes, improving patient engagement, and achieving cost savings by creating a learning community among CHW stakeholders in Montana
How to be involved 
  • Join the CHW Stakeholder Listserv and attend stakeholder meetings here
  • Serve on the CHW Curriculum and Training Committee here

The Stakeholder and Curriculum/Training Committee are convened by the Montana Office of Rural Health/Area Health Education Center.  Funding for the CHW Stakeholder Project is provided by a grant from the Montana Healthcare Foundation, and supported by HRSA funded Area Health Education Center work.