Rumana S. Rabbani


Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline workers with lived experience of their communities, yet historically have been a marginalized workforce. Rumana’s preliminary research shows institutional racism and power is a root cause for barriers of integration and licensure, and inequities such as funding, and notably a lack of power, voice, and agency. Her research explores strategies using community-based participatory research to address institutional racism and power experienced by CHWs in systems. Implementation science and design thinking will be used to adapt evaluation tools while co-designing with lead CHWs and people with lived experience from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Rumana’s research in the long-term will use a Health in All Policies approach that advocates for national policy change in order to break down barriers and empower CHWs. This research will help CHWs become recognized as Community Champions who practice cultural humility and provide personalized community-based interventions to improve health and racial equity for communities of color.

Rumana’s lived experience, research, and racial equity work, CHW leadership roles, and academic training give her understanding about being a humanistic researcher/evaluator. She also works on initiatives to improve lives of communities during COVID-19. Rumana is driven to address racial inequity, the “groundwater” issue of poor health outcomes.


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