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Health Promot Pract. 2006 Apr;7(2 Suppl):96S-107S.

Allies community health workers: Bridging the gap.

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Allies Against Asthma, Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


Allies Against Asthma coalitions each employ a community health worker (CHW) program as part of its community action plan. The structure and management of CHW programs vary in response to the resources and needs of the local community, as do the roles and characteristics of the CHWs hired. All programs utilize CHWs to provide community-based education and/or outreach to community members, primarily in their homes. Using an asthma action plan, most Allies CHW programs function as an extension of and link to the clinician, providing basic asthma education and care coordination in a supportive, family-friendly setting, context, and location. Community health workers rely heavily on relationship building and family empowerment to assist families in improving asthma control. Working within a coalition framework helps integrate the CHW program into other services and resources in the community. As participants in coalition activities, CHWs often bring an important and meaningful viewpoint to the coalition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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