How Can Evaluation of Community Health Worker Initiatives Move Asthma Health Equity?

Session Number: 1870
Track: Health Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Community Health Worker, Health Equity, infrastructure
Session Chair: Robin Kuwahara [Health Scientist - CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL]
Discussant: Obinna Jude Okeke [ORISE Evaluation Fellow - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]
Presenter 1: Stephanie George [Epidemiologist II/Program Evaluator - Utah Department of Health]
Presenter 2: Terry A. Greene [Senior Public Health Specialist - John Snow, Inc.]
Time: Nov 03, 2018 (09:15 AM - 10:00 AM)
Room: CC - 6

Abstract 1 Title: Utah Asthma Community Health Worker Training Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 1:

As trusted and respected leaders in their communities, community health workers (CHWs) have the ability to promote, encourage, and support healthy behaviors including those related to asthma care. The Utah Asthma Program (UAP) worked with partners to develop an asthma CHW training and evaluation to aid in this work. An evaluation of the pilot training (2016) measured effectiveness and quality and identified areas of improvement for implementation of the 2017 training. Findings from the 2017 training evaluation showed how application of pilot evaluation recommendations improved the second training. There were larger increases in asthma knowledge test and quality improvement indicator scores from pre to post in the 2017 training when compared to the pilot training. In completing these evaluations, the UAP hopes to continue to gain insight into improving the Utah Asthma CHW Training for future implementation. This presentation will highlight evaluation methods, findings, uses, lessons learned, and recommendations.

Abstract 2 Title: Infrastructure Evaluation – A Cornerstone to Strong Community Health Worker Initiatives
Presentation Abstract 2:

Launching a community health worker (CHW) initiative, whether statewide or at a particular intervention site, is complex with many moving parts. Evaluation can play a key role in effectively and equitably honing the evidence-base for disease-specific approaches and protocols, building a strong workforce, and integrating CHWs into specific interventions and care teams. The process can benefit greatly from both formative and outcome evaluation. Evaluation of readiness is an important component that can help improve new interventions, aiding sites to anticipate and plan for the challenges ahead. Different organizations fall along a range in the continuum of experience with the various elements of the model and each site has diverse partners with differing roles, backgrounds, and needs. These are among the many elements the presenter will discuss, delving into the critical role that infrastructure evaluation can play in advancing CHW approaches to attaining health equity.

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

AEA’s theme this year, Speaking Truth to Power, couldn’t be a more fitting theme to highlight the unique contributions gained by engaging community health workers (CHWs) in the healthcare setting. As integral members of the health care team, CHWs have worked effectively with vulnerable populations to help patients access culturally competent care and services. Given that they are typically from the communities they serve, CHWs bring trust into the relationship, uniquely bridging the gap between communities, who may be disadvantaged by linguistic, cultural, or socioeconomic differences, and their health care providers. CHWs have successfully broken down structural and communication barriers, ensuring more equitable access to care. CHWs help give a much needed voice to those traditionally excluded, thus engendering power to the communities they serve. In this panel, we will hear examples of what two state asthma programs have learned from evaluating their CHW programs.