Community Health Worker

Connect the Public to Better Health Care

A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a trained and caring professional who links patients with the health and social services they need. The CHW plans care, making it easier for people to access services. They also provide outreach, education, treatment monitoring, informal counseling, and social support. If they are bilingual, CHWs can also help translate between medical professionals and their clients.

What Does a Community Health Worker Do?

  • Help community members access services
  • Motivate patients to meet their health goals
  • Aid in case meetings with nurses and other health care staff
  • Report any concerns to the case management team
  • Assist with tasks such as schedules and/or transportation
  • Facilitate patient communications with care team members
  • Assess patients in their own homes
  • Meet patients in the emergency room, doctor’s office, or hospital to help meet goals as directed by a nurse or doctor
  • Make weekly follow-up calls and home visits

Career Outlook

Employment is projected to grow 16% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all jobs. Demand for community health workers will increase because providers want to find ways to improve the quality of care while reducing costs. This can be accomplished by helping people to avoid costly diseases and procedures.*

Program Details

This nine-course program prepares students for patient and family intervention with classes on public health, counseling methods, and even customer service. The first course instructs students about the 10 Core Competencies of Massachusetts Community Health Workers. These skills are reinforced in each course.  During the final course  students will get at least 125 hours of real-world work as a CHW.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics