Dr. Judith Flores of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) explains the role of community healthcare workers and how you can identify them.
What is the purpose of Community Healthcare Workers?
Judith Flores: A community healthcare worker provides a bridge. They come in different flavors and names, depending on where you are in the country. We call them community health care workers, we call them from promotoras, we call them navigators, they have different varieties of training and experience, but they are the bridge back to the community and back to the patient. They have more time to spend with the patient. They’re able, in many cases, to speak their language and understand their culture, and they’re able to direct them to the resources that will help them get the care that they need.
And how can we identify community healthcare workers?
A community healthcare worker comes in various varieties and with various names and titles, and they do have different types of training. The most important thing is community health workers provide that extra time with the patient. It’s been shown in… Actually, in the Journal of Internal Medicine, recently, as recent as 2017, that having a community health care worker integrated into the health care team of a hospital setting does reduce the number of emergency room visits and improves the quality of care, something that we are all judged on. Producing good quality care at lower cost.