Change agents in the oncology workforce: Let’s be clear about community health workers and patient navigators

Authors: Tracy A. Battaglia, MD, MPH; Xiaochen Zhang, MPH; Andrea J. Dwyer, BS; Carl H. Rush, MRP; and Electra D. Paskett, PhD
Year: 2022
State: NatDoc: National Document
Website link:
Publicly Available: Yes
Certification: CHW role scope of practice, Competencies, National guidance, Role of state government, State input in process
Evidence Generation: Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams
Policy: General language around CHW WD
Workforce Development: National endorsement/stance on CHWs, Outreach education and TA to employers on CHW generally, Recruiting and convening CHWs stakeholders

Despite efforts of professional organizations and government agencies to solidify the professional identities of community health workers and patient navigators in the oncology workforce, the scientific literature perpetuates wide variation in the nomenclature used to define these natural change agents, who have proven efficacy in improving access to quality cancer care for historically marginalized populations. To disseminate, sustain, and scale-up these life-saving roles in cancer care, the oncology field must come together now to adopt clear and consistent job titles and occupational identities.

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