A Peer-Based, Community Health Worker Model

We recognize that:

Optimal health is achieved when the needs of the whole person are addressed.

A person who is engaged with their health and understands their health goals will be better equipped to achieve their desired quality of life. Externally, a person’s health is impacted by social determinants of health, which include access to healthy and nutritious food, affordable and safe housing, systemic healthcare disparities and environmental conditions. A person who has access to providers, understands their health needs and can advocate for themselves will have a greater chance of reaching their optimal health.

Health care organizations and health systems recognize the impact of internal and external factors on a person’s health. Research has shown that up to 60% to 80% of health outcomes are determined by factors that occur outside of the traditional health care settings. 

Determined Health provides substantial return on investment when implemented effectively.

For populations with unmet social needs, CHWs present a lower-cost alternative to RN care managers. CHWs also specialize in developing strong relationships with members, addressing social determinants of health and driving chronic disease self-management.

There is strong evidence that CHWs are effective in improving health outcomes for underserved and underrepresented communities. Many factors contribute to people’s health status, and having access to care and using preventive services are critical to narrowing the health disparities gap. CHWs can help people overcome barriers to health coverage and care by connecting them to a range of health care and social services. In this way, community health workers serve as a bridge between community members and the services they need. 

Our Impact

VOA’s Determined Health initiative is using a Community Health Worker Model to enhance communities across the nation.

*Not depicted: Puerto Rico

Populations served:

  • Seniors, including those in affordable housing and those living in community 
  • Individuals disengaged from primary care and the healthcare system 
  • Those experiencing or at risk of homelessness 
  • Individuals at risk of certain cancers 
  • Individuals involved in the criminal justice system
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