Online Program

Community Health Workers: Research, Education, and Advocacy. Experience of the field in the context of Community-based Participatory Research Projects

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jose Tovar, PhD, Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Linda A. McCauley, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAAOHN, School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Eugenia Economos, Farmworker Association of Florida, Apopka, FL
Valerie Mac, RN, PhD, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Rosana Resende, PhD, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Robert J. McDermott, PhD, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
In recent years, community members have been increasingly recognized as powerful agents of access and change and important research partners. The use of Community Health Workers (CHW) and community members as research advisors and data collectors are just some of the roles reflecting this recognition, each with a specific scope of action. In the context of three Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) projects conducted by the Farmworker Association of Florida in collaboration with academic institutions, this paper focuses on the terminology and roles played by CHWs in the development, implementation, and evaluation of each project. The purpose is to clarify the expectations attached to these labels in the time frame of each project and highlight the challenges faced by academics, the community based organization, and the workers themselves while involved in a research-intervention partnership. The Farmworker Association of Florida is a statewide grassroots membership organization focus on building power among farmworkers and rural low-income communities of color and has embraced CBPR research as a means to increase members’ skills, access educational materials, and produce policy change. Current and former farmworkers have been community advisory members, recruiters, interviewers, focus group facilitators, promotores de salud, actors, writers, evaluators, and policy makers’ educators. How the institutions would define them and how they define themselves are a part of the discussion. How to develop, certify, and sustain community health workers while the different stages of the project are implemented are among the challenges discussed.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the distinctive terms used to label community health workers in relation to the specific role played in the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based participatory research projects. Evaluate the cost involved in the development and implementation of community health workers programs. Discuss the strategies, value, effects, and benefits of the implementation stages presented.

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Community-Based Research (CBPR)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project director of two out of the three community-based participatory research projects, and the co-principal investigator of the third project used in the development of this presentation.
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.