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The Center for Sustainable Health Outreach

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  1. The Center for Sustainable Health Outreach A collaboration between The University of Southern Mississippi and Georgetown University Law Center

  2. Rationale • Due to cultural, linguistic, and/or economic barriers, U.S. families with the greatest health risk are often least likely to be appropriately served by the health care system.

  3. Rationale • “If the problems are in the community, the solutions are in the community.” • Gilbert Friedell, MD • Former Director of Cancer Control • Kentucky Cancer Program • Lexington, Kentucky

  4. Rationale • Community Health Workersprovide services within the cultural, linguistic and other value systems of the community.

  5. Definition • Lay Health Advisor/Worker • Community Health Advisor • Promotor(a) de Salud • Community Health Representative • “An individual that is indigenous to his/her community and agrees to be a link between community members and the service delivery system.” • Service C., Salber E. (eds.): Community Health Education: The Lay Health Advisor Approach. Durham, NC, Duke University Health Care System, 1979.

  6. Definition • Community Health Workersare an effective means of improving community health, because they serve as a vital link between communities and health care systems.

  7. Definition “CHWs are not trained to substitute for professionals, but rather act as counterparts to assist health care providers and other professionals in their mission to improve health and social conditions in ways these traditional providers are not able to provide.” M.D. Barnes and J. Fairbanks

  8. Definition • Community Health Workers can: • educate individuals and communities • facilitate access to needed services • educate providers and health systems • help craft services that are more responsive to community needs

  9. Definition • Community health workers work in all areas of public health including • Maternal-child health • Oral health care • Chronic disease management • Cancer awareness • STD control

  10. Definition • Continuum of Lay Health Advisor Helping • Natural Professional • Helping Helping • Informal Formal • End End • Adapted from Eng, Eugenia, Parker, Edith, and Harlan, Christina. (1997). Lay Health Advisor Intervention Strategies: A Continuum from Natural Helping to Paraprofessional Helping. Health Education and Behavior, 24(4), 413-417.

  11. Community Health Advisor Program • The CHA program recruits and trains volunteer natural helpers who seek to improve individual and community health by • identifying perceived priority health problems; • organizing self-help action in their communities; • linking people in need with available health services; and • giving advice and assistance to neighbors, friends and families.

  12. Deep South Network for Cancer Control • The project’s purpose is to create a community infrastructure to increase cancer awareness in the African-American population in both poor, rural areas and urban areas of Alabama and Mississippi.

  13. CHARPs… • Increase awareness through formal and informal presentations • Talk with family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances about the importance of early detection, accessing screening tests, and diagnostic services

  14. CHARPs… • Help people get to screening, diagnostic, treatment and follow-up services • Assist people in understanding treatment and follow-up recommendations from physicians and other health professionals

  15. M.I.H.O.W. • The Maternal/Infant Health Outreach Worker program is a community-based, home visiting program aimed at improving family health and early childhood development for low-income families.

  16. M.I.H.O.W. • Because they come from the same backgrounds as the families they serve, MIHOW outreach workers readily develop the trusting relationships necessary for effective home visiting.

  17. M.I.H.O.W. • M.I.H.O.W. workers conduct home visits during prenatal, infant, toddler, and childhood periods • Teaching • Anticipatory guidance • Social support • Intervention when needed

  18. M.I.H.O.W. • M.I.H.O.W. workers also • Conduct group meetings with participants • Collect data for evaluation system

  19. CSHO Purpose • CSHO supports Community Health Workers by providing support and technical assistance in these areas: • Public Policy • Sustainability • Education and Training • Evaluation and Planning

  20. CSHO Communication • Connections, a quarterly newsletter • Web page with e-mail links • Listserv • Specialized direct mailings FOR MORE INFO... e-mail us at

  21. CSHO CHW Inventory Project W.K. Kellogg-sponsored project to develop a national inventory of CHW programs • description of programs and CHW activities • their evaluation methodologies • an annotated bibliography of articles

  22. Vision Statement • CSHO envisions Community Health Workers who are valued as essential, integral, powerful promoters of health, wellness and disease prevention in their communities.

  23. Contact CSHO • The Center for Sustainable Health Outreach • The Univ. of Southern Mississippi • 118 College Drive #10015 • Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001 • (601) 266-6261 telephone • (601) 266-6262 fax • Web page • e-mail