Community Health Worker Initiative - University of Houston
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Pull Quote by Dr. Price
Now, more than ever, we need healing through strong communities. We know our CHW friends and colleagues will come through stronger and leading the way to better recovery in the months that come. Please keep checking in with us as we put together teams for the next steps and stay safe and sane! 

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About the UH Community Health Worker's Initiative

The healthcare system has run into a wall of mistrust. Community Health Worker's (CHW's) - folks from the community who help with preventive and community health - can create more trust, but have only been provided with limited support to create that trust. 

We believe a new and larger role for CHW's can provide transformative social and health outcomes for the community by building, sustaining and deserving trust.  A new role for academic experts means that responsive engagement replaces top-down directions and that the experts can help support and celebrate the creativity in the community. An expanded role for faith-based partnerships means that better health can be tied to the mental, physical, and spiritual health of every individual and the community as a whole. A new strategy for sustaining the business model through long-term outcomes-based payments means that CHWs can work for good pay as health advocates.

Spotlight & Awards

2018, Shelby Hodge Vision Award

  • In 2018, The AIDS Foundation of Houston awarded the UH Community Health Worker Initiative due to the positive community impact CHW's had on AIDS outreach in Houston

2019, Outstanding Advisor Award

  • Awarded to Dr. Daniel Price for his work as an advisor to UH undergradutes.

2020, EPA CHPAC Advisory Committee Member 

  • Dr. Price was appointed as a member of the EPA's Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC). The CHPAC is a body of external representatives from a cross-section of stakeholder perspectives including research, academia, healthcare, legal, state, environmental organizations and local and tribal governments.

Who is a part of the UH Community Health Workers Initiative?

  • CHW's

    First and foremost, Community Health Workers (CHW's) are engaged advocates for health. From the very old-fashioned insight that good relationships build good health to innovative approaches to modeling social networks and tracking members of transient communities, CHW's are guided by a vision of better communication and engagement. UH students train side by side with community members and learn through project-based instruction while earning a Texas DSHS Certification as a Licensed Community Health Worker through our Training Center.

    The project teams are the links between data science and community health. The CHWs, embedded in their own communities and supported by students, faculty, and staff at UH, are involved in all aspects of research from data collection to data analyses so that they can advocate for better health while responding to the community's real needs.

    The UH Honors College CHW Initiative is built on empowering community capacity through research. We use the data collected not to just publish but to support the communities surrounding us. This is why the UH Community Health Worker is integral to research and the implementation of constantly improving health programs.

  • UH Students

    The work that CHW's do provide UH students an opportunity to learn from underserved populations and a chance to be at the forefront of community health research and program implementation. Undergraduate students co-lead research with the CHW's. This research is done with the purpose of building capacity for the community and answering the needs of the community.  Many of the projects that the UH CHW Initiative is involved in are interdisciplinary in nature and allow students to interact with different stakeholders in the community. Students can be involved in internships or different UH CHW Initiative Projects through Honors in Community Health (HICH).

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What Are the UH Community Health Worker's Doing?

  • DPP

    Currently, community health workers are assisting the University in investigating the efficacy of the implementation of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in areas of Third Ward and Southwest Houston. The CHW's are leading the DPP classes in their communities to help their participants prevent Type II Diabetes. These classes are being done in communities that are at most risk of developing Type II Diabetes.
  • MARS Habitation

    Partnering with Mars Rover, we are piloting a new approach to STEM competitions and sustainable STEM initiatives in low-income communities by creating place-based, project-based learning opportunities in their communities.