Older couple talking to medical staff

Community Health Workers (CHWs) can bridge the gap between communities and health and social services systems. They will help navigate the health and human service system and advocate for individual and community needs. A CHW can provide direct services to needed resources and help build individual capacity to achieve wellness along with building community capacity.

Attend this Webinar to learn more about the developing Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce in South Dakota. An update will also be offered for North Dakota, including current CHW programs and available resources.

March 28, 2023 | 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CT

As a result of attending this training, attendees will be better able to:

  1. Recall the definition and scope of work of a Community Health Worker.
  2. Understand a basic overview of Medicaid reimbursement for CHWs in South Dakota.
  3. Discover how CHWs can assist providers, care team members, and community-based organizations in helping patients/clients overcome barriers to their health.

Register Today

How does a Community Health Worker lead to better outcomes for patients and community members?

    1. Along with a primary care provider, a CHW can help individuals achieve their health goals and commit to their health care plans.
    2. A CHW may provide resources and educational information or connect an individual to outside help, such as support groups, online apps, or other programs.
    3. A CHW can also act as an accountability partner to help  build skills to manage chronic conditions, mental health, substance abuse, and addiction, or any other specific health challenge an individual may face. A CHW can also connect to both health and social resources.
    4. Increase utilization of preventive and other health care services.
    5. Improve patient compliance to health recommendations.
    6. Improve quality and cultural competence of service delivery.
    7. Reduce the need for emergency and specialty services.
    8. Increase understanding of the health and social service system among community members.

South Dakota has had Community Health Representatives (CHRs) working across the nine tribes of South Dakota for over 50 years, but has not had any CHWs  working in South Dakota until just a few years ago. South Dakota is just one of a handful of states to have Medicaid reimbursement for CHW services. This reimbursement, along with funding from the South Dakota Department of Health, has allowed the CHW workforce to quickly grow and develop across South Dakota.

Ben TiensvoldSpeaker: Ben Tiensvold
Community Outreach Coordinator
Community Health Worker Collaborative of South Dakota (CHWSD)

Tiensvold has served as the lead contact for the CHWSD since its inception in January 2020. He has led the CHWSD through significant growth over the first two years, in part due to the CDC Health Disparities Grant funding the SD Department of Health received in June of 2021. Ben is passionate about the CHW profession and works to be an ally for all CHWs. Ben previously worked with the SD Department of Health in 2015 and 2016 on Community Health Worker-related introductory projects. Ben has a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Public Relations from Southwest Minnesota State University and is currently pursuing his Master of Public Health degree from New Mexico State University.

Community Health Worker of South Dakota Logo

For more information, visit the Community Health Worker Collaborative of South Dakota Web site.