Title

Aligning Provider Team Members With Polyvalent Community Health Workers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2015

Abstract

In light of the fragmentation of health care services and the need for health promotion and disease prevention, it is time to consider the important role community health workers (CHWs) could play as part of the health care team. Globally, CHWs tend to focus on a single patient condition, resulting in fragmented, uncoordinated health care services. Polyvalent (or multimodal) CHWs can provide a comprehensive, patient-centric range of care coordination services with other members of the health care team, ultimately improving patient outcomes and decreasing the cost of care. The potential benefits of the polyvalent CHW to the health care team are not widely understood in the United States. To fill this knowledge gap, a toolkit for nurse leaders in mainstream health care settings was created. The toolkit outlines the key elements essential to a successful CHW program and offers strategies for navigating the various challenges involved when integrating this new role into existing models of care.