Introduction: Timeline of Creation of CHW certification 

In 2017, the State of Connecticut organized a task force to develop a set of criteria to define and certify Community Health Workers (CHWs). The Connecticut Public Act No. 17-74 defines a CHW as a public health professional with in-depth knowledge of the cultural, language, and socioeconomic needs of the community and  fulfills the following roles:

    1.  “serves as a liaison between individuals within the community and health care and social services providers to facilitate access to such services and health-related resources, improve the quality and cultural competence of the delivery of such services and address social determinants of health with a goal toward reducing racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic health disparities”;
    2.  increases health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of services including outreach, engagement, education, coaching, informal counseling, social support, advocacy, care coordination, research related to social determinants of health and basic screenings and assessments of any risks associated with social determinants of health”.

In 2019, the Committee of Public Health and the State Senate approved Senate Bill No. 859 requiring the Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish a certification program for CHWs by January 1, 2020. Nevertheless, the bill did not specify any requirements in terms of education, training, and certification of CHWs. 

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