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Resources for Partnering with CHWs and Supporting CHW Workforce Sustainability​

State health departments are often not aware of the important roles CHWs can play in contributing to their agency mission. State health departments need strategies for more effective partnerships with CHW networks and associations, and for supporting CHW organizing and leadership development. Of growing importance is the sustainability of the CHW workforce to ensure long-term positive impact on health equity and the elimination of health disparities.  

The page offers resources that will help you learn, utilize, and formulate strategies that protect, respect, and partner with CHWs.  

Skip to CHW organizing and leadership development or sustainability of the CHW workforce.

Cultivating Leadership Development and Partnerships

An Interview with Gail Hirsch, MEd

State health departments often are not aware of the important roles CHWs can play to contribute to their agency mission. State health departments need strategies for more effectively partnering with CHW networks and associations and for supporting CHW organizing and leadership development. Hear from subject matter expert, Gail Hirsch, former Director of Massachusetts Office of CHWs and NACHW Founding Director on how and where public health departments can cultivate CHW leadership and partnerships.

Gail Hirsch is an independent consultant and the former Director to the Office of Community Health Workers at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she led state public health efforts to advance the CHW workforce for 30 years.  She is a founding Board member of both the Massachusetts Association of CHWs (MACHW) and the National Association of CHWs (NACHW), and served as Co-Chair of the national CHW Core Consensus (C3) Project Advisory Committee. She is a leader in CHW policy and organizing efforts in Massachusetts and nationally, and serves as an advisor to other states, federal agencies, and regional and national organizations.  She is a steering committee member of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and has co-authored numerous reports and articles on state policy support for CHWs.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Education.

New England Community Health Worker Coalition - Profile: Massachusetts​

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) implemented a Community Health Worker (CHW) survey in 2021 to advance the national professional identity, policy leadership and organizational capacity of CHWs in the United States. This infographic highlights responses to our national survey from 867 CHWs (772 English and 95 Spanish respondents) from 859 unique zip codes. This infographic depicts our experience and awareness of CHW networks, associations, and coalitions in our state and local communities, as well as the types of support provided to networks.

CHW Leaders Present Data Summit Series

Listen as our CHW Leaders introduce the Data Summit Series: a wide-ranging national survey of community health representatives, promotores, aunties, outreach workers, peers and dozens of different workers that gathered data to fully understand the experiences of CHWs through the nation.

NACHW Presents: How to establish and Grow a CHW Network

Learn about NACHW’s efforts to engage CHW Networks and Associations during COVID-19. Hear from CHW leader about their journey to establish a CHW network and discover best practices for growing a CHW network from the ground up.

CHW Roles in Networks

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) implemented a Community Health Worker (CHW) survey in 2021 to advance the national professional identity, policy leadership and organizational capacity of CHWs in the United States. This infographic highlights responses to our national survey from 867 CHWs (772 English and 95 Spanish respondents) from 859 unique zip codes. This infographic depicts our experience and awareness of CHW networks, associations, and coalitions in our state and local communities, as well as the types of support provided to networks.

Author: Carl Rush

Contributors: Denise Octavia Smith, Caitlin Allen, Bernadine Mavhungu

This report summarizes approaches to financing programs engaging and supporting CHWs, which have been proposed by multiple organizations and research studies from 2001 to the present.

Long-term Workforce Sustainability

CHW Workforce Sustainability with Denise O. Smith, CHW, MBA, PN, SFC Founding Executive Director, NACHW

Despite 60 years of research, two-decades of public health recognition, workforce development studies, and national labor classification, CHWs along with our allies are still building national professional identity, state level policies, and models for sustainable funding.  In this video, Denise Octavia Smith, CHW, MBA, PN, SFC, Founding Executive Director of NACHW provides broad concepts and seeks to broaden the definition and considerations of Community Health Worker sustainability.  When sustainability occurs, CHWs are able to join with other professionals to co-create and implement programs, practice, policies that achieve health and racial equity, and social justice.

CHW Career Gateways, Requirements, Pathways, and Barriers

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) implemented a Community Health Worker (CHW) survey in 2021 to advance the national professional identity, policy leadership and organizational capacity of CHWs in the United States. This infographic highlights responses to our national survey from 867 CHWs (772 English and 95 Spanish respondents) from 859 unique zip codes. This infographic explores training, requirements for continuing education, barriers to success as a CHW and their desired options to include in their career paths.

Community Health Worker Models, NASHP State Tracker 12-10-2021

The information on this map comes from a 50-state survey of a variety of stakeholders, ranging from Medicaid officials to Community Health Workers, on their states’ approaches to integrating CHWs into evolving health care systems in key areas such as financing, education and training, certification, and state definitions, roles and scope of practice. The map reflects one of three possibilities: (1) the state’s Medicaid program reimburses for CHW services, (2) the state’s Medicaid program does not cover CHW services, and (3) a state’s Medicaid program does not reimburse directly for CHW services, but Managed care plans or entities in the state do reimburse for CHW services or directly hire CHWs through their administrative dollars.