Chronic disease is a major issue in industrialized nations, and especially in the United States. The state of Kentucky experiences even greater rates of chronic disease and risk factors for such in comparison with the national average. Almost half of Kentucky is also considered to be in the Appalachian region, an area which is heavily associated with high prevalence of chronic disease, social isolation, and health provider shortages. Community Health Workers are able to offer aid to this health burden by providing culturally competent services in aiding individuals in community-based interventions to promote chronic disease self-management. Community Health Worker programs vary significantly from state-to-state nationwide, though recent research has begun to identify best practice approaches to these program developments in certain states. These approaches revolve around core competencies, state certification, and insurance reimbursement. Kentucky’s Community Health Worker program was evaluated in regard to these identified tactics through analyzation of current programs throughout the United States and current research. It was concluded that despite benefits to the current program in place, state certification and further training developments in specific-health issues are recommended.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2018


Dr. Fontaine Sands

Department/Professional Affiliation

Department of Baccalaureate & Graduate Nursing

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars


Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing