CHWs Play an Integral Role

Community health workers (CHWs) have become an integral part of the free and charitable clinic model.

Did you know that up to 80 percent of an individual's health is determined by health-related social needs such as food, housing, education, and transportation? Community Health Workers (CHWs) are public health professionals who are from or have an unusually close understanding of the communities they serve. They provide social support, advocacy, connections to resources and coaching, which leads to improved health outcomes for patients who are having their social drivers of health met. 

There are nearly 1,300 CHWs across Virginia, including approximately 250 certified CHWs who have completed substantial training, supervision, and education requirements. And while CHWs practice in various settings, their role within Virginia's free and charitable clinics has become more central with greater than a third of the VAFCC's membership utilizing CHWs to advance health equity and support improved patient care. “Community health workers are an integral part of the free clinic model,” said Rufus Phillips, Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics CEO. “These compassionate individuals with lived experience are helping patients navigate environmental factors like housing and transportation that impact health."


A Lifesaving Investment

Working towards a Virginia where all people have access to comprehensive, quality healthcare by supporting and advocating for our member clinics so that hardworking individuals and families are protected from healthcare crises.