From Appalachian Cities to Hollers, Community Health Workers Are a ‘Course Correction to Inclusion'

Awareness is growing that community health workers (CHWs) are an effective way to address social determinants of health and reduce health inequities. The success of CHWs is due to the fact that they share life experiences with their patients and their ability to build trust. For example, the cadre of CHWs working in rural and urban Appalachia go into their patients’ homes to provide fundamental care – like monitoring vital signs and blood sugar -- and discuss quality-of-life issues – like nutrition and exercise. Being in the home allows them to gain insight that doctors in an office don’t have access to.

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