Defining Peer Roles and Status Among Community Health Workers and Peer Support Specialists in Integrated Systems of Care
Authors: Allen S. Daniels, Ed.D., Sue Bergeson, Keris Jän Myrick, M.B.A., M.S.
State: NatDoc: National Document
Website link: https://nachw.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Daniels_Psy-Serv_20171.pdf
Publicly Available: No
Certification: CHW input in process, CHW role scope of practice, Competencies, Specialty tracks and supervisor training
Evidence Generation: Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams
Policy: Building partnerships, General language around CHW WD
Sustainable Financing: Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams
Workforce Development: Data sharing between social services and clinical teams, Outreach education and TA to employers on CHW generally
Current strategies for integrating general medical and behavioral health services focus primarily on improving the coordination of care and expanding team-based services. Absent from most discussion has been a focus on the workforces that provide the bulk of community-based outreach, engagement, activation, motivational support, and self-management: community health workers (CHWs) and peer support specialists (PSSs). CHWs have primarily been deployed in general medical care and PSSs in behavioral health care. Understanding the unique contributions that CHWs and PSS provide for health promotion and wellness and improved population health outcomes is an important challenge. This Open Forum reviews the key elements of peer status as a way to help illustrate the differences between these workforces and the best deployment strategies for each workforce. A framework is proposed that outlines key support roles provided by the CHW and PSS workforces.
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