What is a Community Health Worker

The CHW is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or
has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting
relationship enables the CHW to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between
health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and
improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A community
health worker 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.

Reduce Cost

Community health workers (CHWs) help patients prevent costly medical expenses by supporting self-management and coaching patients on prevention.

Improve Care

Community health workers (CHWs) enable patients to adhere to provider recommendations by connecting patients to community-based resources.

Advance Quality

Community health workers (CHWs) are natural extensions of quality care by connecting patients to local resources that complement provider recommendations.

The CCHW Profession

The community health worker (CHW) delivers culturally-competent, strengths-based, trauma-informed, family-centered case management services. The CHW may conduct assessments in health care settings, participants homes, and by phone. They provide individual and family-centered health promotion and education as well as referral and linkage to other services and resources. In order to successfully work as a CHW, we recommend individuals seek formal training.

In Indiana, INCHWA as an agent of the Indiana State Department of Health certifies Training Vendors. Each vendor must meet strict requirements built around the core competencies and skills within the scope of practice.  An individual becomes a Certified Community Health Worker (CCHW) by successfully completing a training course offered by an INCHWA-certified Training Vendor.

Becoming certified is beneficial to secure employment as a CCHW in Indiana. Employers prefer this professional certification when hiring candidates.

What is INCHWA:

Indiana Community Health Workers Association (INCHWA) is a professional
association advocating for the community health workers (CHWs) of Indiana.


INCHWA's mission is to support the workforce of Indiana's CHWs through a unified voice.

INCHWA's goals are:

  • Promote the CHWs and their role on the healthcare team
  • Educate CHWs, healthcare professionals, employers, community members and stakeholders
  • Advocate with local and statewide policymakers of the value of CHWs


The purpose of the initiative is to seek greater clarity on the existing statewide infrastructure of and support for community health workers (CHWs) as a means of formally integrating CHWs into the health care delivery system. By becoming a member, you gain access to discounted specialty trainings, networking and leadership opportunities, and information on best practices to keep you up-to-date so that you can best serve your communities.

Organizational Members

Public Health in Indiana

Top 5 Disparities in Indiana

As of June of 2018, the top 5 health disparities in Indiana are; Opioid Abuse, Tobacco Use, Infant Mortality, Obesity, Diabetes.

County Health Rankings

The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities.