August 30, 2023
National Community Health Worker Awareness Week taking place
MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) is observing National Community Health Worker Awareness Week. This is the first-ever national campaign to celebrate and commemorate the roles, impact on communities and leadership of CHW’s.
According to the American Public Health Association, CHW’s are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of and/or have an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables CHWs to serve as a link between health/social services and the community they serve, facilitating access to services and improving the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
In August 2021, MCHD’s Prevention and Wellness directorate was granted funding from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention titled Community Health Workers for COVID Response and Resilient Communities. The funding was awarded to strengthen the number of community health workers in Mobile County as a response to the decrease in COVID-19 testing and vaccination rates, as well as help in addressing health disparities. Although the services provided by CHWs were not new to MCHD, this program was designed to increase the number of certified community health workers in Mobile County.
CHW’s are trusted members of the community who help individuals, families, and communities enhance their health, receive access to health and social services, and improve the conditions for health equity, especially in low-income and marginalized communities. They play a vital role in connecting with and empowering the communities in which they live, work, and play.
To date, the CHW program has certified 32 community health workers from MCHD, the University of South Alabama Centers for Healthy Communities, and other community-based organizations. In addition, the CHW staff participated in and hosted various community outreach events throughout the county, which resulted in reaching more than 3,900 community members.