Integrating community health workers into primary care to support behavioral health service delivery: A pilot study

Ashley Wennerstrom, Leslie Hargrove, Shontel Minor, Angela L. Kirkland, Steven R. Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Community health workers (CHWs) collaborating with health care teams improve health outcomes. The feasibility of employing CHWs to support behavioral health in primary care is unknown. We offered experienced CHWs a 48-hour behavioral health training and placed them at health centers. Supervisors received technical assistance to support integration. We interviewed team members to explore CHW interactions with patients and team members. There was evidence of CHW integration. Major CHW roles included care coordination, outreach, and screening. It may be feasible to integrate behavioral health-focused CHWs into primary care settings. Both CHWs and supervisors need ongoing training and support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ambulatory Care Management
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Behavioral health
  • Community health workers
  • Mental health
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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