Community Health Worker Initiative of Sonoma County

CHW Core Competencies

CHW Core Competencies

( -page 3)

Seven Core Roles
  • Bridging cultural mediation between communities and the health care system
  • Providing culturally appropriate and accessible health education and information,often by using popular education methods
  • Ensuring that people get the services they need
  • Providing informal counseling and social support
  • Advocating for individuals and communities
  • Providing direct services( such as basic first aid)  and administering health screening tests
  • Building  individual and community capacity

Prevention and control of chronic disease

  • Support to multidisciplinary health teams
  • Outreach to individuals in the community setting
  • Educating the patient and their families on the importance of lifestyle change; adherence to their medication regimes and recommended treatments
  • Find creative ways to increase compliance with medications
  • Help patients navigate the healthcare system; enrollment  eligibility, appointments, referrals;transportation, promoting continuity of care 
  • Providing social support by listening to concerns of the patient and their family
  • Helping with problem solving strategies
  • Assessment of how well a self- management  plan is helping the patient meet their own health goals
  • Assisting patients in obtaining home health devices to support self management
  • Supporting individualized goal setting using motivational interviewing
Community Health Worker Initiative of Boston 
CHW core competencies
 (14 page document- includes a summary)


APHA definition of a Community Health Worker

"A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/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, informal counseling, social support and advocacy." 

Advocating for a Culturally Diverse CHW Association in California 
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