Lay Health Advisor

One model utilized to counter public health budget cuts is the use of lay health advisors (LHAs). Potential LHAs are individuals in the community who have a reputation as a "natural helper" and are trusted by their friends, family, and neighbors. One of the primary objectives of an LHA is to bring together professionals and consumers to mobilize the resources of a community to foster support for preventive health actions. LHAs can facilitate behavior change, especially in underserved populations, by bringing notice to particular health issues that may be of detriment to that community.

Beth Hensleigh


Thomas, James; Eng, Eugenia; and Clark, Michele (1998). "Lay Health Advisors: Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention through Community Involvement." American Journal of Public Health 88(8):1252.

Internet Resources

North Carolina Breast Cancer Screening Program. "NC-BCSP Lay Health Advisors." Available from <>

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