Community Health Workers in California: Sharpening Our Focus on Strategies to Expand Engagement
California Health Workforce Alliance
In Community Health Workers in California: Sharpening Our Focus on Strategies to Expand Engagement, PHI’s California Health Workforce Alliance (CHWA) sets forth recommendations to overcome barriers to integrate community health workers (CHWs) into team-based primary care in California’s safety net institutions.
For the last two years, with support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, CHWA has studied the use of CHWs within California’s safety net institutions and their contributions to Triple Aim goals. Its first report, “Taking Innovation to Scale: Community Health Workers, Promotores and the Triple Aim,” presented results of a statewide assessment which found that while many health centers utilized CHWs (in a variety of capacities), common barriers were preventing wider scale-up. These barriers included a lack of stable reimbursement mechanisms, limited analytic capacity and data access to document outcomes associated with CHW services, and limited knowledge of evidence-based practices.
CHWA followed-up on Taking Innovation to Scale by holding three regional technical consultation meetings with approximately 70 clinical and administrative leaders from across the state’s health care safety net system. The meetings were intended to acquire detailed input on specific needs, challenges, and emerging opportunities identified in the statewide assessment. Community Health Workers in California: Sharpening Our Focus on Strategies to Expand Engagement is based on findings from the technical consultation meetings and further CHWA research.