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Making Community Health Workers Fundamental: New Research Strengthens the Case for State Policymakers to Include CHWs in Care Delivery Teams

By Eliot Fishman, Denisse Sanchez, ,

12.17.2019

There is considerable evidence that community health workers (CHWs) are an effective and versatile workforce that can improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs for diverse groups and health conditions, however, despite CHWs’ record of success, the health care system has largely failed to include this valuable workforce in care delivery, squandering a strategic opportunity to capitalize on CHWs’ unique skills. Evidence proving the health and cost benefits of implementing CHW programs is growing, and one of the primary organizations generating this CHW evidence is the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This summary synthesizes key findings from PCORI’s CHW research and provides evidence-based recommendations to guide state policymakers on how to make CHWs integral members of health care delivery teams to improve individual and population health and potentially generate health care savings. To read the full Fact Sheet download the pdf here.