ARTICLE: Voices, Images, And Experiences Of Community Health Workers: Advancing Antiracist Policy And Practice
JOURNAL: Health Aff (Millwood). 2023 Oct;42(10):1392-1401. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2023.00584.
Community health workers (CHWs) are front-line public health personnel who share common attributes with or have a nuanced understanding of the communities they serve. Their membership in marginalized communities gives them expertise in delivering contextualized interventions that mitigate their clients' social risk factors, but it also places them at greater risk for exposure to various harms. We employed the photovoice method to illuminate how the lived experiences of CHWs working, residing, or both in Baltimore City, Maryland, dovetail with facets of their jobs. In partnership with our sixteen predominantly racial and ethnic minoritized study participants, we surfaced the ways in which CHWs negotiated and subsequently leveraged experiences with social risk factors rooted in structural racism to shape their approach to intervention delivery for structurally vulnerable communities. We also uncovered several occupational hazards that participants faced as a function of their identities. Our findings underscore the need to embed antiracist principles in the fabric of policies and practices that directly affect the CHW workforce.
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