Denise Smith

Health | CT, United States

2021 Healthy Communities Fellow


Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN is the founding Executive Director of the National Association of Community Health Workers where she currently leads national advocacy on Community Health Worker capacity and roles to center community voice, drive equity and strengthen public health response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Smith has contributed to national initiatives and research to integrate community health workers into the ACA marketplace and during COVID-19, improve trust and communication between providers and patients on cost and value in treatment options, and elevate patient and community governance in learning healthcare systems. As a RWJF Culture of Health Leader, Denise pursues a culture of health where individuals have self-determination and dignity, where communities meaningfully contribute to system design and governance and where societies eliminate structural barriers to well-being.