Analysis: Community Health Workers act as a 'bridge' for patients, but resources spread thin

February 16, 2016

WBUR looks at the demands faced by community health workers who navigate healthcare for different patients in varying social service and healthcare settings. The job title covers more than 50 positions, including healthcare coaches, patient navigators and peer counselors. A research assistant at Emory University in Atlanta surveyed community health workers across the country in 2014, four years after the ACA "created a watershed moment" for the profession, and found many doctors and nurses see the need for someone who can monitor or track patients between appointments. There are currently no national standards for community health workers, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is finalizing regulations for voluntary certification that would include 80 hours of training in 10 core areas.