Currently in Massachusetts, CHW services are most often funded for limited periods of time as part of grants that address specific chronic conditions or preventive health measures. Therefore, a reoccurring hindrance to the creation of permanent CHW positions at many community health centers and other organizations is the lack of consistent, dependable funding. Despite these challenges, there are multiple efforts throughout the nation, including in Massachusetts, to ensure that CHWs become permanent, sustainable members of the public health and healthcare workforce. These efforts include expanding and evaluating the evidence base supporting CHW contributions to prevention and healthcare services in terms of positive health outcomes and containment of costs. Additionally, CHWs and those who understand their value are educating health payers and providers about the workforce, the roles they play, the benefits they bring and how to integrate them into healthcare and other multidisciplinary teams. Some of these efforts are listed below.

Promising Practices for Engaging and Integrating CHWs

Employers who are inexperienced employing or working with community health workers in healthcare or other settings can benefit from a variety of resources that provide guidance and promising practices.

This information is provided by the Office of Community Health Workers within the Department of Public Health.