Growing Together: Reimagining Health Care with CHWs


Detailed Description

"As defined by Texas Health and Human Services Commission: A community health worker (CHW) is a person who, with or without compensation is a liaison, and provides cultural mediation between health care and social services, to the community. 

At Baylor Scott & White Health, CHWs are trusted members of the community who have a close understanding, of the ethnicity, language, socio-economic status, and life experiences of the community served. Besides assisting people in gaining access to needed services, CHWs also build individual, community, and system capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency. One of the ways the hospital uses CHWs is to enhance care coordination. CHWs improve health outcomes, access to care, help control costs of care, and address social determinants of health by providing support and counseling, addressing barriers and increasing use of services, establishing connections and providing education, and strengthening care. 

As the CHW staff grew, Baylor Scott & White Health developed a CHW Development Council. The purpose of the council is to:

  • Demonstrate & educate on clinical, patient, quality, and cost-effectiveness of CHWs
  • Help grow CHW role
  • Ensure support of CHW staff
  • Be a model organization for utilization & outcomes related to CHWs"


For the full story, please visit:

Type of Story
Level of Influence



  • Family and social support

  • Quality of care

  • System change: Health care transformation

  • System change: Community transformation

  • System change: Cultural transformation

  • Health System Transformation Oasis

  • Effective

  • Efficient

  • Health-promoting

  • Population-centered

  • In partnership

  • Organization

  • Community/place

  • Home

  • Broader community

  • Childhood 0-18

  • Infancy Birth to 1

  • Early childhood 0-5

  • Junior youth 13-15

  • Youth 16-24

  • Adults 18+

  • Adults 18-44

  • Adults 45-64

  • Older adults 65+

  • Older adults 65-74

  • Older adults 75-85

  • All ages

  • Portfolio 1 (Improving mental/physical health with patients or workforce)

    This portfolio supports health care organizations focused on improving the physical and/or mental health of individuals for whom they feel directly responsible (e.g., patients and/or employees).

  • Portfolio 4 (Stewarding the community's long-term overall well-being)

    ​​​​​​In this portfolio, health care organizations actively engage in contributing to the long-term, overall wellbeing of the community as part of their mission and responsibility. In partnership with other community-based organizations, the focus on the community as a whole beyond subpopulations or priority topics.

Action Areas
  • Community partnerships

    Resources to support partnering with local social-service agencies, faith communities, housing organizations, and other community-based organizations that have experience with addressing defined social and spiritual drivers.

  • Community benefit

    ​​​​​​Resources to help nonprofit hospitals obtain tax-exempt status by investing in community and population health, in range of services and activities that address the cause and impact of health-related needs.

  • Leveraging nontraditional roles

    Resources to help health care organizations, individually, taking on nontraditional roles such as a social service and community connector, a community partner and funder, and, in partnership with others, a community steward (as a purchaser, employer, investor, and an environmental steward to improve overall community wellbeing).

Words to Describe