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What Do Community Health Workers Do?

Community health workers assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. They also conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. Community health workers provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, and advocate for individuals and community health needs. Additionally, they may collect data to help identify community health needs.

Where Do Community Health Workers Work?

Many community health workers work in health facilities, providing case management, client education, interpretive services, follow-up care, and patient navigation. Others are employed by government agencies and non-profit groups to provide community organization, health education, insurance enrollment, and preventive care services in the field.

Although their roles vary depending on locale and cultural setting, they are most often found working in underprivileged, marginalized communities where people may have limited resources: lack of access to quality health care; lack of means to pay for health care; do not speak English fluently; or have diverse cultural beliefs, values, and behaviors.

How Much Do Community Health Workers Earn?

In 2022, the average annual income reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for community health workers in the United States was $49,900. The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) reports that, in 2023, community health workers in New York earned a median annual salary of $52,285 (community health workers in the 25th percentile made approximately $38,170 while those in the 75th percentile made approximately $65,567).

Supply and Demand

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of community health worker jobs in the U.S. will increase by 12% between 2021 and 2031. The New York State Department of Labor projects that the number of community health worker jobs in the state will increase by 44% between 2020 and 2030. For more information on projections of community health workers by New York State labor regions, 2018-2028, click here.

New York Educational Requirements

Educational requirements for community health workers vary by location and roles.

New York Licensure Requirements

No license is needed to work as a community health worker in the state of New York. Community health workers may receive training, but this training does not culminate in the awarding of a certificate.

Education Programs in New York (subject to change)

Community Health Worker Network (NYC) 
60 Haven Ave
New York, NY 10032
(917) 653-9699
Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo
515 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
(716) 548-6727
LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
Schenectady County Community College
78 Washington Avenue
Schenectady, New York 12305
(518) 381-1200
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
Health Career Center
450 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203
(718) 270-7701
Hostos Community College
Allied Health Career Pipeline Program
427 Walton Ave
Bronx, NY 10451
(718) 619-8362
Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Blvd
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 368-5000
1199 SEIU Home Care Industry Educ
330 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 643-9422

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What Do Patient Care Coordinators Do?

Patient care coordinators facilitate communication between patients, family members, medical staff, administrative staff, social service organizations, and other health care providers. They assess the person’s physical, social, psychological, and financial needs. They are often the first contact for provision of information to the patient or physician on behalf of attending physicians. Patient care coordinators may also explain policies, procedures, or services to patients using medical or administrative knowledge, and provide consultation or training to volunteers or staff on topics such as guest relations, patients’ rights, and medical issues. They are familiar with community services and resources available to patients, and refer patients to appropriate health care services or resources. Patient care coordinators also train and educate patients, families, and medical and social service providers in case management and its goals, available services, and self-management. Patient navigation is an additional function of patient care coordinators, and can be its own specific job title. Case managers and care managers have similar roles to patient care coordinators and patient navigators, with differences in education requirements, experience, and responsibilities that fluctuate between locations, settings, and clientele.

As the name suggests, patient care coordinators are heavily involved in the coordination of care and will establish a system for monitoring the delivery of services. If needed, the care coordinator can act as an advocate if a conflict arises. They also ensure cost effectiveness and the quality of care for the patient.

Where Do Patient Care Coordinators Work?

Most patient care coordinators work in hospitals and ambulatory care settings such as clinics. However, many work for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Cancer Institute, helping patients with complex care needs navigate the health care system.

How Much Do Patient Care Coordinators Earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish employment and earnings data for patient care coordinators. According to salary.com, the median salary for patient care coordinators in the United States is approximately $95,040, slightly lower than the median salary of $101,420 in New York State. In NYS, anesthesia technologists in the 25th percentile make approximately $90,270 while those in the 75th percentile make approximately $111,680.

Supply and Demand

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for all customer representatives, including patient representatives, will increase by 14% in New York from 2014-2024—more than the nationwide increase of 9.8%.

Increased demand for this profession can be attributed to changes in health care systems (eg, coordinating multiple provider organizations), an aging population, and the complex needs of chronic disease patients.

For more information on projections of patient care coordinators by New York State labor regions,
click here.

Educational Requirements

Most patient care coordinator occupations require a 4-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not. Most patient care coordinators have degrees in social work, nursing, or public health.

New York Licensure Requirements

No license is needed to work as a patient care coordinator in New York State.

Board Certification
Patient care coordinators may receive training, which is recognized by the health services and national certification authority, but this training does not culminate in the awarding of a certificate.

Education Programs in New York (subject to change)

Lehman College
250 Bedford Park Blvd West
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 960-8000
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