1. Who is a Community Health Worker?
A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of, or has an unusually close understanding of, the community served. This trusting relationship enables a CHW to serve as a liaison to, link to, or intermediary between health and social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self‐sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, the provision of information to support individuals in the community, social support and advocacy.
The Florida Community Health Worker Coalition has adapted and uses the definition as defined by the American Public Health Association (APHA).
2. What are examples of job duties of a CHW?
The job duties of a CHW vary depending on the community served, the employer and job setting.
In general, job duties may include, but are not limited to:
- Facilitate health care and social service system navigation;
- Assist with lay care coordination;
- Connect individuals to health and human service resources, such as health insurance, food, housing and other health information;
- Assist individuals with understanding their health condition(s) and develop strategies to support their health and well-being;
- Deliver health information using culturally appropriate terms and concepts;
- Provide informal counseling, support and follow-up;
- Advocate for local health needs;
- Conduct home visits or meet with individuals outside of the clinical setting;
- Participating in community research efforts e.g. patient-centered outcome research (PCOR and community-based participatory research (CBPR)
- Translate for individuals and health care/social service providers; and
- Other job duties that align with the definition of a CHW.
3. My work duties fit with the CHW definition, but I have a different job title.
Community health workers go by many titles, depending on where they work, who they work for and what they do. Common titles include community health representative, community health advisor, community health outreach worker, outreach specialist, patient navigator, lay health advisor, health coach, community health coach, lay health advocate, family advocate, community health care worker, health educator, liaison, promoter, outreach worker, social worker aide, Promotores de salud, peer counselor, health interpreter, public health aide, and more.
4. What is the average entry-level wage for a CHW in Florida?
The average starting wage for an entry-level CHW is about $9-15/hourly. Some CHWs may make between $15-25/hourly depending on experience and additional credentials the individual may have.