264808 Community Health Workers in Chicago's Health Care Centers: Roles, Program Structure, and Evaluation

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Melissa A. Gutierrez, MS , Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Jamie Campbell, MPH , Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are increasingly being recognized as part of health care delivery teams, yet there are still many questions as to their roles and responsibilities and impact on improvements in quality of care and patient outcomes. Several studies have evaluated the effectiveness of CHW partnerships with nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals. However, there remains limited knowledge on the breadth of clinical CHW models, on the whole, and how to best structure and evaluate CHW programs in health care settings. The purpose of this study is to critically examine the impact of CHWs in health care settings on the Westside of Chicago, an area poor in medical resources, but rich in community strength. Twenty-six health care centers are located on the Westside of Chicago with 62% employing CHWs. Surveys were collected from both CHWs themselves and program administrators with questions focusing on CHW characteristics, association with standard CHW definitions, job duties, training, supervision, funding, and program evaluation. Process and outcome measures were assessed for each program to determine how health care centers evaluate the impact of CHWs, and findings are being used to inform the development of standard CHW evaluation measures, a task that has been called for by several prominent researchers in the CHW field. This presentation will discuss survey findings, comparisons between CHW and administrator surveys and next steps in the development of standardized CHW metrics and quality measures

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the findings of the CHW and program administrator surveys and how they compare to one another 2. Determine if CHWs themselves identify with standard CHW definitions 3. Describe how health care centers evaluate CHW effectiveness and impact through process and outcome measures 4. Evaluate the beginning stage of the development of standard CHW measures to be used in the clinical setting

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been actively researching and participating in the development CHW models for the past six years. I am currently heading a research study that critically examines the role of CHWs in health care settings. I am also an active member of the Chicago local CHW network and the APHA CHW Section. I am dedicated to the promotion of the work of CHWs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.