Financing Community Health Workers: An Analysis of Emerging Opportunities in New York State (Present)

With support from the New York State Health Foundation, this project allows for examination of existing policies surrounding CHWs and identification of financing and staffing models that support the integration of CHWs in New York State's health system. While numerous studies have documented the importance and benefits of implementing CHWs into the health delivery system and the Affordable Care Act continues to push for their integration, steady sources of financing for this workforce are often lacking.

Integration of CHWs into Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Health Homes (Jan 2012 - July 2012)

With support from the New York State Health Foundation, this project conducted a case study of a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) that has integrated community health workers (CHWs) into their operation. The project interviewed key informants to articulate the challenges and successes in bringing CHWs into their organization and supporting their full integration. The project also interviewed CHWs who work in this organization to identify workplace elements contributing to their success and those that presented challenges. The project collected data to help build the business case for the CHW project, including cost-savings, value-added, return on investment and/or outcomes data, as available. The project analyzed all data collected from these efforts to establish common themes and key elements reported and drew guidance for health home developers wanting to integrate CHWs into their operations.

New York State Community Health Worker Initiative (NYS CHW Initiative) Nov 2009-Oct 2011

With support from the New York State Health Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation, The New York State Community Health Worker Initiative (NYS CHW Initiative) began as a statewide partnership between the CHW Network of NYC, The New York State Health Foundation, the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, CHWs statewide, and other stakeholders. The purpose of this partnership was to advance the CHW practice by establishing stable financing models. One of the ways in which we sought to accomplish this goal was through the guidance and support of the project's Leadership Advisory Group which is made up of prominent New York leaders from the various CHW stakeholder sectors, including CHWs, heads of statewide professional associations, employers, funders, payers, regulators and elected officials. CHWs and CHW advocates from networks in Rochester, Buffalo, and NYC represented their constituencies on the Leadership Advisory Group, making up 25% of their membership.
Why did we need this Initiative?
The CHW workforce in New York (an estimated 11,000 according to HRSA CHW National Workforce Study) does not yet have a standard scope of practice or training and credentialing standards that encompasses and supports the varied, critical work performed by these workers. There is also a lack of sustainable funding streams that leads to an inefficient use of resources and instability in the CHW field.

Initiative's Vision
A stable CHW workforce fully integrated in all health and social service systems with sustainable financing throughout the State of New York.

Initiative's Mission

  • Establish a New York standard scope of practice for CHWs
  • Develop statewide training standards and a credentialing process for CHWs
  • Identify stable financing mechanisms for CHWs


  • The New York State Community Health Worker Initiative transitioned into the creation of a statewide association of CHWs, employers, and stakeholders
  • Seminal report and recommendations for advancing and sustaining the workforce in New York State.  Outlines specific recommendations for statewide standards around a scope of practice, training, certification, and financing mechanisms.  Paving a Path to Advance the Community Health Worker Workforce in New York State:  A New Summary Report and Recommendations