Integrating Community Health Workers into Complex Care Teams: Key Considerations
Complex care programs across the country are increasingly rely on community health workers (CHWs) to cultivate strong relationships with patients — delivering culturally competent education, care coordination and system navigation assistance, among other supports. These critical team members also complement traditional medical care delivery by addressing patients’ essential needs, allowing licensed providers to focus on their respective areas of expertise.
This technical assistance brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies’ (CHCS) examines effective strategies for including CHWs in complex care teams. It draws from the experiences of organizations participating in two CHCS initiatives: Transforming Complex Care and the Complex Care Innovation Lab.
According to the authors, maximizing the impact of CHWs requires that organizations…
- thoughtfully approach the hiring process;
- provide training and clear tracks for career progression;
- promote full integration within the care team; and
- build in meaningful supports to prevent burnout, fatigue, and turnover