4299.0 Research and Policy on Community Health Workers: Making the Connection

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 4:30 PM
Despite a substantial body of research on various aspects of the Community Health Worker (CHW) field over the past 40 years, federal and state policies around their employment have yet to crystallize. Programs involving CHWs operate independently for the most part, with no standards for position descriptions, training or evaluation of their activities and effectiveness. In recent years several efforts have begun to lay the groundwork for a stronger link between research and policy. These include: (1) steps toward formation of an American Association of CHWs; (2) cross-cutting studies on financing of CHW services; (3) conferences on employment and financing policy; and (4) an effort to forge a consensus national research agenda on the field.The research-policy connection will be explored from three perspectives, namely those of a researcher in a local health department setting, an employer and purchaser of CHW services in a for-profit health care management firm, and a practicing CHW involved in local and national policy initiatives.
Session Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, audience members will be able to: 1. Understand the role of cost-effectiveness in evaluation of Community Health Workers (CHWs); 2.Describe current settings where for-profit firms employ CHWs or contract for CHW services in supporting public health programs; 3.Describe barriers to integration of research results for policy application in major programs such as Medicaid; 4.Understand how CHWs can work together with policy makers in order to lead change in health care policy at the local and national level; and 5.Explain the importance of a national research agenda on CHWs.

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Community Health Workers SPIG, Community-Based Public Health Caucus

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing