142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Investing in Community Health Workers in the health care setting: Safety net hospital moves the field of CHWs forward in MN

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Kristen Godfrey Walters, MPH , Ambulatory Care, HCMC, Minneapolis, MN
Melissa Kaufhold, CHW , Health Care Home, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN
Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), a large urban safety net hospital, is one of the largest employers of Community Health Workers (CHW) in Minnesota.   CHWs provide culturally and language specific services to address health disparities, social determinants of health and basic patient needs.  We will share lessons learned for rapid expansion of a sustainable CHW program, integration of clinic and community based CHWs, and innovative strategies for population health.  Presenters include a CHW and CHW Supervisor.

In 2010, HCMC leadership invested in four CHWs to provide functions of care coordination.  HCMC championed implementation of MN policy and payment reform to sustain and grow over 25 clinic and community based CHW positions.   Support and training for CHWs includes completion of CHW Certificate program, internal training curriculum, and ongoing training opportunities. CHWs are empowered to participate in community events, present at conferences, and attain professional development.   

HCMC CHWs play an integral role in Health Reform:

  • Championing strategies from the ground up - medical homes, team-based care, population health
  • Piloting interventions that impact clinical quality, patient satisfaction, utilization. 
  • Demonstrating value of care coordination teams to include nurses and social workers. 
  • Adopting use of basic needs survey to identify areas of need, provide education and resources
  • Collaborate with patient and care team to create goals and action steps
  • Building patient relationships to provide patient-centered care

Biggest learning is that patients that have met psychosocial needs such as housing and transportation are more likely to engage in other health care services.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the rapid expansion of a sustainable Community Health Worker program at a safety net hospital Describe key strategies to utilize clinic and community based Community Health Workers in a population health model to address social determinants of health

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Health Care Reform

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a Community Health Worker at a safety-net clinic for 2 years. I currently coordinate patient care, engage patients in their care, and collaborate with interdisciplinary care teams. I consult on CHW role and interventions, present at conferences, provide new employee training and continue to champion CHW role expansion within HCMC. I also have previous community based experience working with vulnerable populations as they live and work independently in our communities.
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.