Community Health Workers

Trusted members of the community who have a unique understanding of the people they work with and can help them overcome barriers to important aspects of health.

Program Overview

The Community Health Worker (CHW) program at Spokane Regional Health District trains and supports a variety of CHWs throughout eastern Washington in order to further the reach and effectiveness of efforts that improve the health of communities.

CHW Training

CHWs are trained through a FREE eight-week course offered by Washington State Department of Health. The course combines virtual and online instruction to provide needed basic skills. These trainings are offered quarterly and there are no stipulations for participating or becoming a CHW. Click here to learn more or register to become a CHW.

Once completed, graduates then have access to additional health-specific, no-cost web-based trainings tailored to their needs and specific work.

CHW Network

Community health workers from various organizations and communities throughout eastern Washington are connecting. Eastern Washington Community Health Worker Network meetings are held the second Thursday of each month from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Meeting locations are hosted by various community partners. Click here to learn more.

Community Partnerships and Engagement

Spokane Regional Health District partners with internal programs, clinics, community organizations and volunteers in the community to support systems that engage and utilize CHWs. Projects involve CHWs as a health equity strategy for addressing disparities among targeted populations, promoting healthy behaviors, and improving linkages between programs/organizations and the communities they serve.


U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention April 2015

35%

Asthma control reduced by 35% among adolescents working with CHWs, resulting in a savings of $5.58 per dollar spent on the intervention.

National evidence supporting the involvement of CHWs in the prevention and control of chronic disease continues to grow:

  • Increases life-expectancy by six months for Hispanic men
  • Improves knowledge, lifestyle and self-management behaviors among participants, and decreases the use of emergency rooms.
  • Improves knowledge of cancer screenings cervical and breast cancer (mammography).
  • Declines A1C (glycosylated hemoglobin) for African American patients with diabetes.
  • Improves the control of hypertension among high-risk populations.
  • Reduces patient cost by $157 for every 1% drop in systolic blood pressure and reduces patient cost by $190 1% drop in diastolic blood pressure.
  • Improves the keeping of appointments, compliance with prescribed regimens, risk reduction, blood pressure control, and related mortality in patients with hypertension.

“Community health workers are a vital resource… ”

“Community health workers provide many essential and specialized services and the CHW model can save money in a health care system that is seeing significant increases in costs.

I think they also offer something also benefits the bottom line - healthier behaviors as a result of the human connection.

As CHWs are members of their community, they share their neighbors’ values and culture. This inclusion, along with their desire to serve their neighbors, typically fosters relationships and trust, and feelings of well-being and self-regard in those they see.

These positive feelings can cause people to take better care of themselves. And here I think we have something to learn.”

~ CHW Manager

Community Health Worker
Community Health Worker

For information on becoming a community health worker, locating a worker or networking with one.

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