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Community Education

Community health aides are proven partners, and allowing them to work to the fullest extent permissible in IHS and tribal operated hospitals and clinics increases the availability of health workers in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Examples of community health aides within the Indian health system and other Federal agencies include the following:

  • Behavioral Health Aides (BHAs) are counselors, health educators, and advocates who help address individual and community-based behavioral health needs, including those related to alcohol, drug and tobacco abuse, as well as mental health problems, such as grief, depression, suicide, and related issues. Behavioral Health Aides work to achieve balance in the community by integrating their sensitivity to cultural needs with specialized behavioral health training and approaches to treatment.
  • Dental Health Aides are part of a community-driven program providing culturally appropriate dental education and routine dental services.
  • The IHS Community Health Representative (CHR) program, deploys well-trained, medically guided health care workers who provide health education, case management, patient transport, patient advocacy, and other services in Tribal communities.