Community Health Workers: Promoting a Vital Workforce
Community health workers (CHWs) are a vital component of the health care system in Massachusetts and throughout the country. CHWs link individuals and families to needed health, public health, and human services and play important roles in increasing access to health care and eliminating racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities among vulnerable and underserved communities.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has recognized and valued the unique contribution of CHWs to improving health outcomes among vulnerable populations and continues to support CHWs through its programs and resources. In addition to its ongoing programmatic support, the Department has conducted a number of capacity-building initiatives to strengthen CHW workforce development, including an investigation of the CHW workforce as part of the 2006 health care reform legislation.
Below are links to DPH's definition of CHWs, details on DPH's investigation of and report on the CHW workforce, the professional association for CHWs in Massachusetts, and state and national resources for CHWs.
- Who Are Community Health Workers?
- MDPH 2009 Community Health Worker Investigation and Report
- MDPH Community Health Worker Programs and Initiatives
- Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers (MACHW)
- State and National Community Health Worker Resources
Gail Hirsch, MEd, Director
Office of Community Health Workers
Division of Primary Care and Health Access
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02108
This information is provided by the Office of Community Health Workers within Department of Public Health.