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J Ambul Care Manage. 2011 Jul-Sep;34(3):210-20. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0b013e31821c645d.

Community health workers "101" for primary care providers and other stakeholders in health care systems.

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Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


Today's ambulatory care providers face numerous challenges as they try to practice efficient, patient-centered medicine. This article explains how community health workers (CHWs) can be engaged to address many patient- and system-related barriers currently experienced in ambulatory care practices. Community health workers are frontline public health workers who serve as a trusted bridge between community members and health care providers. Among their varied roles, CHWs can educate and support patients in managing their risk factors and diseases and link these patients to needed resources. As shown in this overview (CHW 101), including CHWs as members of multidisciplinary care teams has the potential to strengthen both current and emerging models of health care delivery.

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