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Abstract

Community health workers (CHWs) have worked in a variety of settings in the United States for more than 70 years and are increasingly recognized as an essential health workforce. CHWs share life experience with the people they serve and have firsthand knowledge of the causes and impacts of health inequity. They provide a critical link between marginalized communities and health care and public health services. Several studies have demonstrated that CHWs can improve the management of chronic conditions, increase access to preventive care, improve patients’ experience of care, and reduce health care costs. CHWs can also advance health equity by addressing social needs and advocating for systems and policy change. This review provides a history of CHW integration with health care in the United States; describes evidence of the impact of CHW programs on population health, experience, costs of care, and health equity; and identifies considerations for CHW program expansion.

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2023-04-03
2024-06-14
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