Program Vision: To transform the occupational landscape for Community Health Workers in community health centers through state and federal advocacy, provision of professional development opportunities,
and standardization of community-based outreach resources, tools, and data.
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are integral to advancing health equity within the 300-plus communities served by the state's 52 community health centers. CHWs work on the frontlines of our health system and are trusted members of the communities in which they work. They act as a critical bridge between residents and traditional health care and human service systems, strengthen the cultural competence of service delivery, and empower patients to be active participants in improving their health status. (source: Massachusetts Ethical Standards for Community Health Workers, 2015)
Our Community Health Workers Initiatives strive to advance the CHW profession at community health centers. This includes ongoing work to better integrate CHWs into health center medical, behavioral health and dental care teams, and to provide opportunities for growth and innovation within their roles.
In Fall 2022, the League's CHW Initiative was identified by Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) as a promising practice and innovative program. Programs under this initiative have been highlighted and recommended as replicable programs that can be implemented throughout the country.
- Strengthening the CHW Workforce in Massachusetts Community Health Centers
Funded by the Klarman Family Foundation, this project aims to increase the number of generalist CHWs in the health center workforce, train CHWs and health center leadership in optimizing and empowering CHWs within care teams, and better engage patients in their health goals through the CHW-patient connection.
- Engaging CHWs to Increase COVID-19 Vaccination in Historically Under-resourced Communities
Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, this program strives to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and vaccination rates in primarily communities of color by engaging patients and community members in discussions about the safety and efficacy of vaccines through outreach by CHWs and other types of outreach workers.
CHW Advisory Council
- CHW Initiatives developed an advisory council in 2022 in order to receive feedback and input from experienced CHWs and CHW
Supervisors on best practices for CHW programming. The council is CHW led and is comprised of CHWs and CHW Supervisors currently employed
at health centers.
The aim of council is to unify and strengthen the CHW profession throughout Community Health Centers in the Commonwealth by centering the CHW voice in providing advice the League on efforts pertaining to CHW program planning and implementation across Massachusetts Community Health Centers.
The council accepts applications on a rolling basis so if you are interested in learning more, please contact the team at CHWInitiatives@massleague.org
- CHW Integration into Community Health Centers in Partnership with Center for Health Impact
This project streamlined procedures, created web-based integration tools, and provided access to technical assistance for health centers working to integrate CHWs into care teams at their organizations. The initiative included close work with:
- Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
- New Bedford Community Health
Additional Resources on the CHW Profession:
- Massachusetts Association of Community Health Worker
- Department of Public Health-Community Health Worker
- National Association of Community Health Workers
- CHW Core Competency Training