142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Integrating community health workers into mainstream health systems through partnerships

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Pamela A. Kulbok, DNSc, RN, PHCNS-BC, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Lisa Sgarlata, MSN, RN, FACHE , Lee Memorial Health System, Fort Myers, FL
Shawanda Poree, MBA, BSN, RN , Veterans Health Administration, New Orleans, LA
Loraine Frank-Lightfoot, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC , Wooster Community Hospital, Wooster, OH
Sheila Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN , Global Nursing, Partners In Health, Boston, MA
Beth Brooks, PhD, RN, FACHE , Resurrection University, Chicago, IL
Background: Health system leaders are often unaware of the potential value realized when including community health workers (CHWs) in healthcare delivery models. A group of RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows, recognizing this knowledge gap, developed a resource guide to facilitate implementation of polyvalent CHW programs in health systems and to achieve the “Triple Aim” of improved individual care, improved population health, and decreased healthcare costs.

Description: The purposes of this presentation are to discuss changes in the healthcare delivery environment, to identify opportunities for partnerships between advanced public health nurses and nursing leaders in healthcare systems, and to describe the usefulness of the CHW resource guide.

Lessons Learned: Strategies including intra- and inter-professional collaboration can address the skepticism that may exist about CHWs, their roles and competencies; how to integrate them into healthcare systems; and how to attain smooth transitions of care. Challenges include the potential clash between acute care and community-based care approaches and the lack of consistency in CHW selection criteria, training, scope of practice, roles, responsibilities, workload, reimbursement, and outcome measures. Facilitators of program success include meaningful engagement of community and other key stakeholders. Champions are critical from the beginning phases of CHW program planning to phases of program evaluation and outcome measurement.  

Implications: Key partnerships to integrate CHW services into healthcare systems using existing community/population programs whenever possible will leverage the potential for program success. Monitoring CHW services with feedback from stakeholders will assure best chance to address problems and revise program plans on an ongoing basis.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the utility of a resource guide to facilitate implementation of polyvalent CHW programs in mainstream health systems. Identify opportunities for partnerships between advanced public health nurses and nursing leaders in healthcare systems when implementing polyvalent CHW programs in mainstream healthcare settings.

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Partner Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health nursing educator and researcher. I am Coordinator of the Public Health Nursing (PHN) Leadership track of the MSN Program at the University of Virginia. I was Co-Chair of the American Nurses Association (ANA) workgroup to revise the Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2011-2013) and a member of APHA PHN Section workgroup to revise the Definition of Public Health Nursing (2013).
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.