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We usually think of innovations in health care—novel cancer treatments, cutting-edge surgical techniques, powerful imaging tests—as being developed in the U.S., and later diffusing to other countries around the world.

Rarely do we consider what we might learn from those countries—particularly low-income countries—and how their approach to delivering health care in resource-strapped settings could help us create leaner, better care.

But in at least one area, that may be changing: The growing use of community health workers in the U.S.

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