WHat Is a CHW
The CHWSD has adopted the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) definition of a Community Health Worker.
A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
CHW Scope of Work
The Scope of Work for CHWs in South Dakota is:
- Health system navigation and resource coordination, including helping a patient find providers to receive a service, helping a patient make an appointment for a service, arranging transportation to a medical appointment, attending an appointment with the patient for a medical service, and helping a patient find other relevant community resources such as a support group.
- Health promotion and coaching, including providing information or education to patients that makes positive contributions to their health status, such as cessation of tobacco use, reduction in the misuse of alcohol or drugs, improvement in nutrition, improvement of physical fitness, family planning, control of stress, pregnancy and infant care including prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Health education to teach or promote methods and measures that have been proven effective in avoiding illness and/or lessening its effects, such as immunizations, control of high blood pressure, control of sexually transmittable disease, prevention and control of diabetes, control of toxic agents, occupational safety and health, and accident prevention. The content of the education must be consistent with established or recognized healthcare standards.
This scope of work is also the recognized scope of work for CHW reimbursement through South Dakota Medicaid.
CHW in South Dakota
More information regarding reimbursement for CHWs can be found here. This change in reimbursement models through SD DSS has opened the door for formal CHW programs to assist South Dakotans in better managing their health while working to prevent further health concerns.
Click below to view a downloadable CHW Reference Guide prepared by the Cardiovascular Collaborative.
Worker Job Titles
SD Community Health Workers can go by many different job titles, including:
- Community Health Worker
- Case Work Aide
- Community Care Coordinator
- Community Health Advisor
- Community Health Educator
- Community Health Promoter
- Community Health Representative
- Community Outreach Worker
- Consejera/Organizador (counselor/organizer)
- Family Service Worker
- Lay Health Advisor
- Lead Abatement Education Specialist
- Maternal/Infant Health Outreach Specialist
- Neighborhood Health Advisor
- Outreach Specialist
- Patient Navigator
- Peer Educator
- Promotor(a) de Salud (health promoter)
- Public Health Aide
- And many, many more titles
To obtain CHW reimbursement through SD DSS Medicaid, a CHW agency does not need to title their CHWs as CHWs. The title can be more accommodating to the individual’s position who is providing CHW services.
Community Health Worker and CHWSD Webinar
Learn more about Community Health Workers and the CHWSD by viewing the introductory webinar. This webinar provides an overview of CHWs, the CHWSD, and the current and future work to promote, develop, and sustain the CHW profession in South Dakota.
Learn more about CHWs in South Dakota by exploring the South Dakota CHW Planning and Assessment Toolkit. The CHW Planning and Assessment Toolkit is intended to provide background knowledge, resources, tips, and recommendations for hiring and utilizing a CHW.
- Official Definitions of CHWs
- CHW Job Titles
- CHW Roles and Functions
- Overlapping Roles in Related Occupations
- Distinction Between CHWs and Related Occupations
- Organizations that Employ CHWs
- Supervising CHWs