• 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.


    Contact Information

    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
    phone: 617-624-6016
    fax: 617-624-6062
    TTY 617-624-5992
    email: Gail.Hirsch@state.ma.us

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