Online Program

Understanding the integration of community health workers and team member roles in the health care home

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Elizabeth Rogers, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Joan Cleary, MM, Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance, St. Paul, MN
Sarah Manser, MA, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Eileen Harwood, PhD, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN
Kathleen Thiede Call, PhD, Division of Health Policy & Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Background:  Health care reform provides unique opportunities to address health disparities in chronic disease management through the redesign of primary care delivery teams, known as health care homes (HCH) in Minnesota (MN). Among MNs growing pool of HCHs,  a minority of care team models utilize Community Health Workers (CHWs),shown to hold potential to facilitate the self-management of chronic illness and reduce health disparities.

Objective:The Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance and the University of Minnesota (1 presenter from each organization) have partnered on a study to identify factors driving decisions about HCH team structure, member roles, and the integration of CHWs.

Methods: Certified HCHs in MN, both utilizing and not utilizing CHWs, and enrolling underserved, low socioeconomic and racial/ethnic minority patients with chronic health conditions were invited to participate. We are conducting semi-structured key informant interviews with HCH team members and leadership (to date n= 12, target n= 48) from 8 HCH clinics to understand facilitators and barriers to CHW integration, CHW role, and assess overall team structure and roles differences between CHW-utilizing and non-CHW clinics.  Using qualitative methods, we are identifying emerging themes pertaining to team structure and CHW integration.

Results:Preliminary emerging themes include CHWs as “Eyes and Ears” (the extension of team reach beyond the clinic) and overlapping member roles.

Conclusions: These preliminary findings and final analyses will inform planners of HCH care teams in defining roles of members, and highlight the influence of CHWs in meeting the chronic disease management needs of community populations.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the roles of CHWs among redesigned primary care teams (Health Care Homes)utilizing CHWs and factors facilitating and impeding the utilization of CHWs. Identify themes related to decision-making in the design and structure of HCH care teams. Compare characteristics and differences in care team design of HCH clinics utilizing CHWs and non-CHW clinics.

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Chronic Disease Management and Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Co-Primary Investigator on the study producing the presented results and have been leading the qualitative data collection and analysis.
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.