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2017

Examination of Community Health Workers in Rural Pennsylvania (2017)

November 16, 2017  | Health Care and Human Services

Community health workers (CHWs) play a vital role in the health care delivery system of rural Pennsylvania counties. Currently, the role of CHWs is not well defined. Efforts toward certification and training programs are evident throughout Pennsylvania, yet they lack consistency. The research gathered information on CHWs through surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Results found that CHWs are used in a variety of agencies and contexts in rural Pennsylvania, with duties ranging from working with the elderly to working with infants and children. It was evident from the research that low pay, high turnover, and lack of adequate funding were significant issues for many agencies. In addition, many agencies experienced large caseloads and lacked consistent CHWs certification and training. A variety of educational backgrounds and training further complicates the consistency of CHW roles. The researchers found that decisions on certification and training need to be made by the state legislature and the state Departments of Health and Human Services. 

Executive Summary

Tags:  health care , home health care , community health workers , health workers

Introducing the Center's new journal, Rural Policy: The Research Bulletin of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.