For Immediate Release - March 28, 2012

AG Coakley Announces $600,000 Community Health Worker Grant Program Announced

Funding a Result of Multi-State Settlement with Pharmaceutical Companies for Substandard Manufacturing

BOSTON — Attorney General Martha Coakley announced $600,000 in grant opportunities to fund Community Health Workers (CHWs) as part of health care teams serving underserved communities at four local health centers. 

“With their unique skill set, community health workers are valuable members of community health centers and we’re pleased to provide these resources to support their work,” AG Coakley said.  “This program will use the proven strategy of community health workers to improve community health.”

The AG’s Office is seeking requests for proposals for the allotted $600,000 to support the Community Health Worker Grant Program and anticipates awarding up to four grants of $75,000 annually for two years. The funding comes from a multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline and SB Pharmco.  The nationwide settlement authorizes Attorneys General to use the proceeds on health care related projects.  The grant program complements the AG’s companion initiative to fund CHW training at three training centers across the Commonwealth.

By applying their unique understanding of the experiences, language and culture of the community they serve, CHWs can play a role in improving access to health care services and the quality of care received.  They can also help control health care costs by increasing preventative care and treatment adherence.

Applicants should present a plan to utilize one or more CHWs to address a demonstrated need of the community. Successful programs should employ evidence-based methodologies and be designed to improve access to care, especially preventative services, improve quality, reduce disparities and control health care costs. 

CHWs perform a variety of functions in numerous contexts, including:

  • Culturally appropriate health care information, education and informal counseling;
  • Intervention or peer support on specific health issues or diseases;
  • Direct services, such as health screenings;
  • And translation and interpretation services.

The Community Health Worker Grant program is part of a series of health-related grant opportunities offered by the AGO.  Previous programs include the Prescription Drug Assistance Program, the Project YES Wellness program and the Promoting Health and Reducing Healthcare Disparities Grant program.           

This program is designed to support and complement the Attorney General’s strategic health care priorities, including  controlling health care costs; improving health care quality; supporting health care reform; improving chronic disease management; reducing health disparities; and promoting wellness of vulnerable populations.  These priorities are reflected in the AG’s work in the Community Benefits Program, Health Disparities Council; Health Care Quality and Cost Council, and the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety.

Interested applicants can visit the Attorney General’s website, www.mass.gov/ago/grants, for additional information about the application process and to download application materials.  The application deadline is May 10, 2012. The grant recipients will be announced on or around May 28, 2012 and the grant period will be from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014.       

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