This project team researched Community Health Workers (CHWs) and their impact on health outcomes for their patients living with HIV. Students also focused on new certification requirements for CHWs and how this affects their work. Using a snowball sampling method, students conducted qualitative interviews with current CHWs and data analysts involved in research surrounding the role of CHWs in HIV-related care. The project found that CHWs help improve health outcomes by serving as a liaison between community members and health care providers, advocating for their clients, and working to combat internal and external stigma. They also work to help clients overcome barriers to care including housing, transportation, language services, and education. The project team also found the recent certification option for CHWs did not meet initial expectations and raised important questions regarding the scope of practice, essential skills, and funding. The team recommended appropriately regulating and professionalizing the role by defining the scope of practice, making work done by CHWs billable, creating a standardized training program, and having employers fund certification for current CHWs.
Earlington, Shian; Gibson, Frances; Jones, Giovanni; Norteman, Max; and Pereira, Lucy, "HIV Community-Health" (2020). Liberal Arts Action Lab. 13.