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Teams of Community Health Workers and Nursing Students Effect Health Promotion of Underserved Urban Neighborhoods


Correspondence to:

Gail Zandee, Nursing Department, Calvin College, 1743 Knollcrest Circle SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4403. E-mail:



The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of CHW/nursing student teams in promoting secondary protection and improving access to care for residents of three urban underserved neighborhoods. The study also sought to measure CHW and resident satisfaction of such a program.

Design and Sample

Quasi-experimental and non-experimental designs were used for the study. Convenience samples consisted of residents who participated in the CHW program during 2005–2006, CHWs and residents who participated in the CHW program during 2005–2007 and a systematic random sample of residents across the three neighborhoods.


Three quantitative measures were used in the study: a pre/post test with residents who participated in the program, a satisfaction survey of CHWs and participants, and a community assessment survey of the neighborhoods in which the program occurred.


CHW/nursing student teams were shown to increase awareness of community resources, increase access to dental care, decrease use of the ER, promote use of a medical home/regular source of care, and increase the percentage of people having their blood pressure screened in the last 2 years.


CHW/nursing student teams can positively impact the health of underserved populations.