BUILDING A WORKFORCE

Article: Insights on COVID-19 From Community Health Worker State Leaders

Read this article discussing CHWs in the pandemic.

Abstract

Community health workers (CHWs) leverage their trusting relationships with underresourced populations to promote health equity and social justice in their communities. Little is known about CHWs roles in addressing COVID-19 or how the pandemic may have affected CHWs’ ability to interact with and support communities experiencing disparities. A focus group with CHW leaders from 7 states revealed 8 major themes: CHW identity, CHW resiliency, self-care, unintended positives outcomes of COVID-19, technology, resources, stressors, and consequences of COVID-19. Understanding the pandemic’s impact on CHWs has implications for workforce development, training, and health policies.

Excerpt:

“We have had to distance ourselves from our clients, which is not what we are used to. We are used to being face to face, one on one with them, to being remotely…. Normally you can comfort someone, hug them, and say it is going to be okay. We can’t do that now.”