The Minnesota Department of Human Services definition of a Community Health Worker is:
Community Health Worker (CHW): A health worker who is a trusted member or has an unusually close understanding of the community served, which enables the person to provide information about health issues that affect the community and link individuals with the health and social services they need to achieve wellness.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services overview of the CHW role is:
A community health worker (CHW) is a trained health educator who works with Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) members who may have difficulty understanding providers due to cultural or language barriers. CHWs extend the reach of providers into underserved communities, reduce health disparities, enhance provider communication, and improve health outcomes and overall quality measures. Working in conjunction with primary care providers, CHWs can bridge gaps in communication and instill lasting health knowledge.
CHW services are a diagnosis-related medical intervention, not a social service.
CHWs providing diagnosis-related patient education services to enrollees of managed care organizations (MCOs) must contact the MCOs for enrollment requirements and coverage policies.
CHW services that provide patient education for health promotion and disease management are covered if provided under the supervision of a physician, dentist, advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), certified public health nurse (PHN), mental health (MH) professional, or registered nurse.
In Minnesota, CHW education includes:
- Standardized, competency-based education based in higher education
- On-the-job training
- Continuing education
Together these components provide a strong educational framework for the CHW profession.
To see more about our education model, visit our Education page.
CHW positions and programs are supported through a variety of avenues, including:
- Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare coverage
- Government grants and contracts
- Foundation grants
- General operating dollars from employing organizations.
To see more about our reimbursement model, visit our Reimbursement page.