The December issue looks at the work states face to deal with the health care needs of an aging population and new approaches to teacher evaluations.
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Community health workers help contain public health program costs.
Headlines highlight the growing need for health care workers, particularly physicians and nurses, to serve a growing elderly population as well as a large group of people newly covered by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Another group—community or lay health workers—also is fighting disease and improving the health of local residents, but it often is overlooked. Although community health workers may not be appropriate for every special population or health concern, they provide another tool for public health programs that are working to improve health while keeping costs down.
According to the CDC, the primary aim of community health workers is to help people in their community understand risky behaviors, be familiar with health care options, think for themselves, and make decisions that will improve their health. They also can help people learn the health consequences of certain choices. Community health workers may help patients navigate through a medical diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
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