NACHW Toolkit for Public Health Departments

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a widespread lack of trust between people and the government agencies that are responsible for serving them. This distrust is particularly prevalent in marginalized communities, and governmental agencies, which illustrates the need for new ways of connecting with vulnerable community members. Community health workers’ (CHWs) effectiveness comes in large part from their trusted relationship with the community. The majority of CHWs are employed by community-based organizations (CBOs), which have years- or decades-long relationships and experience working in the community. Public health departments can leverage these trusted relationships by partnering and contracting with CBOs to hire CHWs and implement CHW programs.

This creates a mutually beneficial relationship where CBOs can offer strong community relationships, cultural competency, and expertise in program design and implementation, and health departments can offer CBOs greater financial sustainability and access to critical resources. By authentically partnering with and contracting with CBOs, health departments can help address inequities and structural racism often apparent in CBO funding. This toolkit serves as a resource for health department staff who are pursuing contracts with CBOs to implement CHW programs.

This toolkit, developed by the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), will provide tips for hiring, training, and building CHW career pathways.

For further information on CHW hiring practices, refer to ASTHO’s “Hiring Practices that Support State Integration of Community Health Workers” paper.

Hunger, Nutrition and Health for CHWs and their Communities is a Priority for NACHW: How About You? 

Access to nutritious and affordable food should be a human right – but it is not. COVID-19 resulted in more than 53 million people seeking food assistance in pantries and soup kitchens. Long before COVID-19 disrupted supply chains, closed restaurants, and placed grocery store, factory and farm workers at increased risk for infection, children and adults across the globe were going hungry.

Wars, famines, and natural disasters rightly command high profile responses for food and water delivery, but what about the hunger that is hidden in plain sight on every continent every day? Read more in the link above!