Title

Analyzing the Needs of Community Health Workers in Rural and Urban Minnesota

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard

Abstract

Analyzing the needs of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in urban and rural Minnesota is an explorative study into the professional needs of CHWs in Minnesota. This research was developed to answer the question: how do the professional needs of Community Health Workers working in the seven-county metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, compare to those of CHWs working in rural Minnesota, and how might the Minnesota CHW Peer Network best support all CHWs throughout the state? The essential subquestion of this research is: what are the professional needs of CHWs in urban and rural Minnesota? In-person and phone interviews were used to collect data from sixteen CHWs throughout the state. The CHWs expressed a variety of professional needs. The findings showed that CHWs from rural and urban Minnesota are similar both demographically and in their strong desire for continued professional development. Whether they live in rural or urban Minnesota, CHWs are busy professionals each with their own unique learning styles and work environments; therefore, a variety of activities to engage them in networking would be most beneficial. This research lends a voice to the thoughts of CHWs throughout Minnesota and is useful in understanding their profession as well as how the Minnesota CHW Peer Network and other entities can best support them statewide.

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine

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