While interactions with physicians and nurses have become ubiquitous, the number of community health workers in formal care capacities remains limited. However, auxiliary medical professionals, such as community health workers, have the potential to transform the current health care landscape. Throughout the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to explore the role of community health workers as members of a care team in depth. In the last ten weeks, I’ve gained perspective on the importance of community health workers in facilitating the care of chronic conditions, such as diabetes.
Community health workers serve as a connection between medical providers and individuals with chronic conditions. Typically, they perform a number of tasks, from coordinating care with physicians to providing individuals with health management skills. By working directly with particular communities, community health workers have the potential to help achieve the “triple aim” of improving access, enhancing quality, and reducing costs associated with health care utilization.
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