Serving Nebraska for 65 Years!

Community Health Worker Section


About Us

The Public Health Association’s Community Health Worker Association Section was created in January 2014 with the objective of giving Community Health Workers in Nebraska recognition for their work, giving them a voice that advocates for public health as well as their profession, providing avenues for further training and uniting all Community Health Workers across the state, and the entire nation.

Community Health Worker Policy Paper – April 2015

During the past year a diverse group of representatives from several organizations and some Community Health Workers joined together to develop a more concise picture of the community health workforce in Nebraska, adopt core competencies for Community Health Workers, identify training and education needs, and develop a sustainability plan. The purpose of this document is to serve as a resource for the development of a sustainable Community Health Worker workforce in Nebraska and to provide policy recommendations for the State of Nebraska.

Download (PDF, 1.82MB)

To Contact the Community Health  Worker Association Section send email to: 

Do you consider yourself to be  a Community Health Worker?

Definition (Adopted by the NE Community Health Worker  Coalition Steering Committee, April 29, 2014)

A Community Health Worker (CHW) is an individual who:

  • Serves as a liaison/link between public health, health care, behavioral health services, social services, and the community to assist individuals and communities in adopting healthy behaviors
  • Conducts outreach that promotes and improves individual and community health
  • Facilitates access to services, decreases health disparities, and improves the quality and cultural competence of service delivery in Nebraska.

A CHW is a trusted member of, or has a good understanding of, the community they serve. They are able to build trusting relationships and are able to link individuals with the systems of care in the communities they serve.

A CHW also builds 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. CHW is an umbrella term used to define other professional titles.

(Information from the American Public Health Association, U.S. Department of Labor, Foundations for Community Health Workers, Berthold, Avila, Miller, August 2009)

Other Names for CHWs

Patient Health Navigator, Patient Educator, Maternal Child Health Worker, Family Health Advocate, Peer Support Specialist, Community Outreach Worker, Community Health Advocate, Recovery Coach, Peer Educator, Community Care Coordinator, HIV Peer Counselor, Promotora, Community Health Representative, Lay Health Advisor, Patient Advocate…

What are the roles of CHW’s ?

Do You Do Any of These Things? You May be a CHW and didn’t know it!

  • Outreach and community education
  • Community/cultural liaison
  • Case management and care coordination
  • Home-based support
  • Health promotion and health coaching. How Do I Become a Member of the Nebraska Community Health Worker Section?

How Do I Become a Member of the Nebraska Community Health Worker Section?

Download a membership application. Print the form, fill out and mail to PHAN.

What are the Benefits of Joining the CHW Section?

    • Networking and exchanging resources with your peers
    • Providing input into Section activities
    • Discounts at PHAN activities
    • Taking a lead in important issues



Please visit for information on a training that you can access at no charge through September 2018.


Emerging Role of the Community Health Worker (CHW)

The Emerging Role of the Community Health Worker (CHW): Nurses as Champions and Policy Leaders in a Transforming Health Care System.

A collaborative study published by Kathy Karsting MPH, RN – Program Manager, Maternal Child Adolescent Health for Nebraska DHHS Division of Public Health and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Nurse Leader, 2015 -2017 – shared with NE-DHHS, the Nebraska Action Coalition and others.

The nursing profession has a long and credible history developing the workforce to meet health needs of the population. Active engagement of nurses in health systems transformation is necessary if nurses are to remain visible, relevant, and impactful. One area where nurses – the largest and most trusted of health professions – have been curiously silent is the changing workforce, particularly in development of the community health worker role.”

(Karsting, K. (2017). The Emerging Role of the Community Health Worker (CHW): Nurses as Champions and Policy-leaders in a Transforming Health Care System. Retrieved from abstract).

Emerging Role of the Community Health Worker (CHW)