Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)


Kinesiology & Health Sciences


Danielle Dallaire

Committee Members

Ashleigh Everhardt Queen

Deborah Hudson


Low-income populations are subject to various barriers in attempting to access healthcare. However, this process is further complicated when seeking out mental health care, due to concerns of discrimination and mistrust. As a result, Community Health Workers (CHWs) are implemented into healthcare networks for marginalized populations in an effort to ease the process of finding appropriate resources and services for their needs. Twelve clients of CHWs in Richmond’s public housing communities who sought out care for mental health, substance abuse, and/or domestic violence between 2016 and 2020 were interviewed over the phone. Predominantly, clients cited the shared background and experiences of their CHW as a factor that made them feel comfortable discussing sensitive, emotional topics. However, some clients could not recall seeing a CHW in the past and did not recognize the resource center in their neighborhood. Additionally, the majority of participants regarded the COVID-19 pandemic as another barrier to accessing care – specifically by increasing wait times and decreasing responsiveness from healthcare services. Moving forward, it may be beneficial to decrease client load on CHWs or place more specificity on their role, allowing them the opportunity to better serve clients long-term.

Available for download on Monday, May 04, 2026

On-Campus Access Only