November 20, 2018 – Community Health Workers


Anchor lead: Can a community peer help people avoid hospitalization? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Do you know what a community health worker is? This is someone from the neighborhood who helps a person with chronic illness manage their social issues, such as coordinating their medical care, with a recent study showing their intervention reduced hospitalizations by 65%. Jeremy Greene, a social medicine expert and physician at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Greene: Part of the social science perspective in health sciences is seeing resources where often times we see lack. And moving from a space of thinking fatalistically to thinking well, what are the resources people have in their lives, my neighbor can actually be mobilized in meaningful ways to make a difference in their own lives as well as on a population basis.  :20

Since they are from the same neighborhood, community health workers have a deep understanding of the issues people may be confronting and are ideally positioned to help. Greene says its estimated that 70% of someone’s health outcomes are due to social determinants. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.