Raising the Flag for Community Health Workers

Integrating community health workers into the health care system by creating a national network to strengthen and sustain their workforce

From 2006 to 2009, staff members at the Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, worked to raise the profile and influence of community health workers in the health care system and among policy-makers.

Community health workers, who work either in a paid or volunteer capacity, help members of their communities navigate the health care system. They typically focus on underserved populations, such as low-income children and adults, and people of color. They have not had much power or influence in the health care system, and remain its least trained and most poorly paid workers, according to Robert Stumberg, JD, at Georgetown University Law Center.

Key Results: During this grant, project staff:

  • Created much of the infrastructure for a new, national organization designed to represent community health workers. Staff members and community health workers put together key building blocks for the newly established American Association of Community Health Workers, including the documents necessary to gain nonprofit status. As of October 2009, the organization had not been incorporated.
  • Provided technical assistance to state community health worker associations. Staff provided assistance to community health worker associations in Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Ohio, as well as in Washington, D.C.

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