Former Cahokia High School Student Earns 2024 Urban Community Health Worker of the Year Award

ST. LOUIS, MO – DeAnthony Henderson, Community Health Worker (CHW) & Substance Use Specialist with Family Care Health Centers, was once a student at Cahokia High School and is now the 2024 Urban Community Health Worker of the Year.

“Seeing individuals in my community unhoused or unhoused with SUD [substance use disorder], I wanted to help in ways I never knew how to. Growing up, there weren’t many leaders around who could help the community. I wanted to see others win (succeed, prosper), but how could they win with no help with no guidance?  I’ve been wanting to serve the community longer than I can remember.”

Henderson’s commitment to serving his community has been his guiding force since he was a teenager.  At just 15 years old, he lost a friend to gun violence.  He knew his community needed help and he wanted to see change.  After graduating from Cahokia High School, Henderson went to Langston University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating in 2015.  While in school, he began his career serving the community.

Henderson worked at Adapt of Missouri beginning in 2016 and began to focus his career on substance use disorders.  He then earned his Community Health Worker certification at St. Louis Community College in 2021 and joined Family Care Health Centers (FCHC).  Since joining FCHC, his work has focused on interventions that include harm reduction principles, outreach, and developing partnerships. Specifically, Henderson works with CENTER partners: The T, UMSL-MIMH, Community Advisory Board, and others focused on a healthcare and treatment system that ends punitive and coercive approaches that disproportionately harm Black people and instead prioritizes culturally appropriate services that center on Black drug users’ agency, autonomy, and safety.

Such work was recently recognized in a joint letter from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for creating a successful model to improve access to naloxone and other opioid overdose reversal medications in public housing.

“The health of our community is a result of many factors, including social, environmental, and educational influences. The profound effect of each of these on our ability to engage in productive healthy lifestyles is often understated.”, said Aramide Ayorinde, CEO of Family Care Health Centers. “Our team of Community Health Workers truly understands the importance of ensuring individuals have access to key resources to be able to live healthy, productive lives. I couldn’t be any prouder of the work of our Community Health Workers! To have Family Care Health Centers be awarded CHW of the year, in multiple years, is simply amazing and shows the dedication this team has on positively affecting the lives of individuals in our community.”

Family Care Health Centers had the honor of having five Community Health Workers nominated for the 2024 Urban CHW of the Year award.  In response to winning, Henderson said, “It was such a huge surprise that I received a great honor to be named 2024 Urban Community Health Worker of the Year! I mean this in the humblest way, I know I have done a lot of work for the last 8 years doing the type of work that I do. But I never viewed myself working for the community as an accomplishment. I don’t showcase my work because it’s in me not on me! Never thought that within 2 and a half years in this position I would receive this blessing. Sometimes we have to step back and pat ourselves on the back because the work we do is not easy at all. It’s not for everyone to be a Community Health Worker. It takes patience, persistence, and consistency. For those who are CHWs, I commend you with my utmost respect. Let’s continue to build our communities and help the members of the community prosper. This moment was one of the best moments of my life and I appreciate my team at Family Care Health Centers who helped me throughout this journey. The encouragement, the trust, the authenticity, and love they have shown me has been of words I cannot describe. This work is God sent and I’m forever grateful! This is a glimpse of my success for the work that I haven’t broadcasted due to the respect of each community I work in!”


About Family Care Health Centers

Family Care Health Centers (FCHC) is a non-profit community health center dedicated to providing affordable and accessible comprehensive primary health care services to the residents of St. Louis and the surrounding communities.  For over 50 years, FCHC has been committed to offering a full range of services, equalizing the accessibility of quality healthcare to our hometown community members.  FCHC can be found online at, Facebook at, and LinkedIn at