Date of Submission
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Dr. JoAnn Loomis
Dr. Prabjot Sandhu
The United States continues to have an unacceptably high rate of preventable deaths among pregnant and new mothers—the highest rate among developed countries. Pregnancy outcomes are especially poor in minority, rural, and medically-underserved populations, with lack of access to healthcare being identified as a primary factor in poor pregnancy outcomes and pregnancy-related deaths. It is imperative that action be taken to reverse this disturbing trend. Introduction of the Community Health Worker (CHW) into the multidisciplinary healthcare team is a solution that results in increased access to healthcare, along with many other positive health outcomes, and is one way in which our healthcare system can begin to address this unacceptable trend in high MMRs. A CHW is a lay health worker and trusted member of the community served, whose role has shown to be successful in bridging knowledge gaps, reducing resource utilization, and increasing access to care. This literature review introduces the role of the CHW as a vital member of a multidisciplinary healthcare team, and describes the ways in which the CHW provides a promising solution to increasing access to care, and thereby reducing the number of preventable pregnancy-related deaths.
Martinez, Deirdre A., "The Community Health Worker: Improving Prenatal Health in Rural and Minority Populations" (2022). DNP Qualifying Manuscripts. 66.