Community Health Workers’ Critical Role in Trust Building Between the Medical System and Communities of Color

Authors: Cristian Capotescu, PhD Tashi Chodon, MPH, BSN
Year: 2022
State: NY
Website link:
Publicly Available: Yes
Certification: CHW role scope of practice, Competencies, National guidance, Training and training programs
Evidence Generation: Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams
Policy: National guidance especially in new policy areas
Sustainable Financing: Including community-based CHWs

This article interrogates elements of routine medical practice in New York City to argue for reforms of hospital culture through relational trust-building capabilities of community health workers. The takeaways include the following:
-Trust is not the default for patients of color. Asking many patients of color to “unlearn” their mistrust of hospitals should be reversed to: What can hospitals do to earn the trust of their patients?
-Trust in medical treatments and vaccines cannot be heightened through “more” or “better” information. The relational quality of communication deserves as much attention as the content of the information in interventions.
-Trust cannot be earned overnight; it requires time and attention. Community health workers cultivate relationships with patients, provide them with an essential degree of familiarity with medical expertise and procedures, and can do this consistent, long-term labor.

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