Community Health Worker in Primary Care Practices

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) is announcing the statewide integration of the Community Health Worker (CHW) into eligible primary care practices under the Department’s Health Access at the Right Time (HeART) initiative. The objective of the CHW program is to improve patient care and health outcomes with the aid of individuals who interface between the clinical practice and the community where patients reside. CHWs will be certified through a training program to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate support, guidance, and encouragement for patients, and to help patients receive needed follow up care through their medical home physician. CHWs will work with clinicians both in the practice setting and in the community to help patients achieve the best possible health outcomes. This initiative has four key goals:

  1. To increase value of the partnership between the patient and the physician/medical homes.
  2. To decrease emergency room visits and hospitalizations by improving utilization of the medical home.
  3. To improve Medicaid recipients’ chronic disease management skills and engagement with primary health care.
  4. Reduce costs and improve health outcomes.

Midlands Technical College, the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC), and SCDHHS will work collaboratively to establish this program to educate and deploy CHWs. SCDHHS will hold an informational meeting for primary care practices interested to learn more about the CHW program on January 9, 2013 at the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Peeples auditorium located at 2600 Bull Street, Columbia South Carolina from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to gayheart@scdhhs.govby December 31, 2012 if you plan to attend.

Report Fraud