Helping Neighborhoods Thrive
Illinois Public Health Association's Commitment to CHWs
Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) is committed to helping advance the Community Health Workforce in Illinois. It was for this reason that in 2020, IPHA opened the Community Health Worker Capacity Building Center. The Center is dedicated to everything CHW from training, to career development support, to CHW programing, and CHW advocacy. IPHA feels strongly that by partnering closely with IDPH and ILCHWA and other groups leading CHW work that we can create a healthier Illinois for all residents. Below you will find the mission of IPHA and Community Health Worker Capacity Building Center.
Community Health Worker Capacity Building Center Mission Statement
Establishing a multi-sector partnership that removes historical silos, maximizing opportunities for addressing structural factors and advancing health equity through the promotion of Community Health Workers as an integral member of the public health team.
CHW History: Then and Now
Community Health Workers in the United States began as a program for rural and urban communities to help with health promotion, social support, mediation, and community empowerment. Today, Community Health Workers have many titles and their roles have expanded over the years.
CHWs have come a long way to be the advocates they are today for better state and local policies, stewards of services and care. These resources are dedicated to the advancement of their work and development within Illinois’ public health ecosystem.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of and/or have an unusually close understanding of the community they serve. This trusting relationship enables CHWs to serve as a liaison intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. CHWs also build individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy.
- The American Public Health Association