Current Demographics and Roles of Florida Community Health Workers: Implications for Future Recruitment and Training

J Community Health. 2018 Jun;43(3):552-559. doi: 10.1007/s10900-017-0451-3.


The high prevalence of health disparity diseases (e.g., obesity, Type 2 diabetes) among underserved populations in the United States suggests the need for increased resources to prevent these diseases and to improve health care access and quality in underserved communities. Community health workers are valuable resources and facilitators of health care access and quality treatment. The purpose of the present study is to provide descriptive information about community health workers in Florida and to provide recommendations for improved training and expansion of community health workers' roles in research and intervention. The study participants were 396 adults (85.1% Female, 75.5% Community health workers) who completed the 2015 Florida Community Health Workers Census. Participants were recruited by the Health Council of South Florida through emails and phone calls to members of the Florida Community Health Worker Coalition and various organizations. It was found that several groups disproportionately affected by health disparities were underrepresented among the community health workers who participated in the census and among the communities served by these community health workers. Actions are needed to improve and increase the recruitment and training of community health workers in Florida.

Keywords: Community health workers; Demographics; Health care access; Public health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Health Workers* / education
  • Community Health Workers* / organization & administration
  • Community Health Workers* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Personnel Selection