Understanding California’s Community Health Worker/Promotor Workforce

Authors: Susan Chapman, RN, PhD, FAAN, Timothy Bates, MPP, and Jacqueline Miller, BA, Healthforce Center at UCSF
Year: 2022
State: CA
Website link: https://nachw.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/CHCF-2022-UnderstandingCHWPWorkforceSurveyCHWPs.pdf
Publicly Available: Yes
Certification: CHW input in process, CHW role scope of practice, Continuing education
Evidence Generation: Surveys and assessment tools to define and develop workforce
Policy: Building partnerships
Sustainable Financing: Marketing/awareness campaigns including national, Surveys and assessment tools to define and develop workforce

In California, one of the most culturally diverse states in the country, health care must bridge cultural and linguistic divides to serve all communities equitably. As trusted community members with lived experience, community health workers and promotores(CHW/Ps) have a long history of connecting those not well served by the traditional health care system with culturally competent health and social services. There is increasing recognition in California that CHW/Ps are a critical part of the health care workforce. In 2019, the California Future Health Workforce Commission recommended scaling the CHW/P workforce to broaden access to preventive and social support services as well as team-based integrated primary and behavioral health care. It is important for CHW/Ps themselves to share their experiences and voice their opinions about their profession. The purpose of this report is to describe the attributes and perspectives of CHW/Ps. CHW/Ps across the state and in a variety of workplace settings were asked to voluntarily fill out a survey between October 2021 and January 2022. Given this timing, the survey surfaces data surrounding respondent CHW/Ps’ work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey results presented are primarily of CHW/Ps who were working in a paid CHW/P position at the time they completed the survey. Additionally, a short descriptive section includes data on 22 CHW/Ps who reported working in volunteer positions at the time they completed the survey.

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