Strengthening the Community Health Workforce Can Help Improve Healthcare Access for Communities of Color
CHWs play a key role in connecting communities with healthcare in a trusted and culturally competent way—they need to be fully recognized and integrated into health systems.
The Johnson & Johnson Our Race to Health Equity platform, a $100 million commitment over the next five years, aspires to take on the inequities rooted in systemic racism that threaten health in communities of color across the United States. A key component of the platform focuses on supporting the work of Community Health Workers (CHWs) by partnering with organizations such as the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW).
As members of the communities they serve, CHWs play a key role in connecting their communities with the healthcare system in a trusted and culturally competent way. Yet they are not fully recognized and integrated into health systems. I sat down with Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN, Executive Director of NACHW to discuss the urgency and importance of the work in this area.