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People-centred public health$
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Jane South, Judy White, and Mark Gamsu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305316

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305316.001.0001

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Community Health Educators – a case study

Community Health Educators – a case study

Chapter:
(p.100) (p.101) Eight Community Health Educators – a case study
Source:
People-centred public health
Author(s):

Jane South

Judy White

Mark Gamsu

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447305316.003.0008

This chapter presents findings from a case study of a Community Health Educators programme where the lay health workers carried out a bridging role within disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods. The origins of the Community Health Educator model is briefly described prior to reporting findings drawn from interviews with community health educators, project staff and external partners. Community health educators were recruited from local communities and the programme focused on their personal development. Empowerment was seen as a strategy for addressing health inequalities. The chapter provides some insights into the benefits of pursuing an inclusive, flexible approach to recruitment, training and supervision, including the use of sessional payment to support activities. Despite the evident advantages of involving community members to spread health messages, tensions occurring between empowerment approaches and professionalised health systems are highlighted.

Keywords:   community health educators, bridging, neighbourhood, health inequalities, recruitment, payment, empowerment

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