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Community Health Workers

Better Care Coordination by Connecting Patients to Services


With access to care being severely limited for rural and minority populations, GHN worked to develop a way to reach underserved patients and improve their health outcomes.


  • Connect underserved community members with health and social services
  • Reduce costs of high care utilizers
  • Develop sustainable workforce
  • Improve wraparound, patient-centered care in the region


  • $850,000 in funding to 9 agencies, who hired over 30 community health workers for an 18-month program


In 2021, GHN supported nine agencies through $850,000 in financial resources and training to hire over 30 Community Health Workers (CHWs). The objective of this program is to increase the adoption and capacity of care coordination by using Community Health Workers through the development of training programs within GHN partnering organizations.

CHWs are seen as frontline public health workers who serve as liaisons between health and social services and the community. Each organization received funding to bring on professionals for an 18-month program, with hopes that organizations will have the capacity and resources to sustain these positions.

Trainings GHN provided to support these CHWs included:

  • Health Literacy Basics
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Mental Health First-Aid Training
  • Managing Community Health Workers (for supervisors)
  • More training to be provided monthly starting April 2022

The goals for our CHW Program:

  1. Support development of a healthcare workforce that will support the need of the healthcare delivery model, including comprehensive, coordinated, and timely access to care and the development of patient-centered medical homes.
  2. Work closely with the rural counties to provide/enhance community care coordination activities for high-risk individuals who have both health (physical and behavioral) and social service needs, such as housing, employment, and nutrition.
  3. Work closely with rural fire districts in support of their community paramedicine program by connecting patients to primary care, community-based organizations, behavioral health, and social services.
  4. Help improve community health outcomes by reducing the cost of high utilizers by connecting patients to primary care, community-based organizations, behavioral health, and social services through their CHWs.
  5. Provide extensive training for the CHWs employed with our partnering providers. This will provide cross-training in recovery support, case management, COVID vaccine information, Medicaid insurance benefits sign up, support services, and many other areas.
  6. Develop a sustainable workforce that has the skills to connect patients to the right place, providing wraparound services to patients and their families.