Online Program

Where is the Workforce? Methods for Locating, Surveying, and Supporting CHWs

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Caitlin Allen, MPHc, Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Samantha Sabo, DrPH, MPH, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Ashley Wennerstrom, PhD, MPH, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Theresa Mason, Ph.D., Office of Community Health Workers, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Katherine Mitchell, MSW, Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance, University of Michigan School of Social Work, Ann Arbor, MI
Sherri Ohly, WI Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
Gail Hirsch, MEd, Division of Prevention & Wellness, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Leslie Hargrove, MCHES, Texas AHEC East - Coastal Region, Lamarque, TX
Ana Paula Lynch, MS. LPC, CORE/El Centro, milwaukee, WI
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are a growing profession in the United States; however, challenges exist to understand the dynamic labor force. The demand for information about CHWs is increasing as the unique workforce gains visibility and recognition from the public health and health care sectors. While numerous surveys have been conducted, the field lacks specific survey techniques and other methods for gaining access to this oftentimes hard-to-reach population. Therefore, it is imperative to share methodological approaches to surveying. This interactive session including a CHW presenter will describe qualitative and quantitative survey methods, challenges, and promising strategies to engaging CHWs, CHW supervisors, CHW employers, and CHW networks in surveying at the local, state, and national level. We will begin by dividing the audience into small groups and provide different real-world survey-related scenarios to consider. Examples include:
  • You are a CHW and member of a newly formed CHW association. You know your work is important and want to show others too!
  • You work at a health department that supports CHW-related work. You have conducted CHW surveys before but have recently been approached by a large insurance company about potential reimbursement for CHW services.

After the brainstorming session, we will review each example and ask for audience input about survey techniques. We will highlight successful strategies that we have employed to overcome survey challenges. This participatory session will include future directions for surveying the field and calls for action to help advance CHW surveying techniques.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe survey techniques and methodologies that are appropriate for different survey uses and samples Explain three common CHW survey challenges and strategies for overcoming them Identify potential survey needs and purposes for one’s own organization or program

Keyword(s): Survey, Reporting

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have have worked on CHW related issues on the local, state, and national level. I have conducted multiple surveys 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.