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About the NC Community Health Worker Initiative

North Carolina Community Health Workers currently hold both formal and informal roles within the healthcare system. The skills they exhibit are valuable in reaching individuals and groups who are unfamiliar or distrustful of people outside of a given community; particularly the poor, underserved, and or minorities. Recent changes to healthcare laws encourage the use of CHWs to promote positive and healthy behaviors and outcomes. Section 5313 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act authorizes grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote the community health workforce. This recognition of CHW provides an opportunity to impact population health, reduce disparities and integrate their roles into a new healthcare delivery model.

As a result, North Carolina stakeholders began to explore the opportunity to identify this workforce. Below is a timeline leading to the release of “Community Health Workers in North Carolina: Creating an Infrastructure for Sustainability, Final Report and Stakeholder Recommendations of the North Carolina Community Health Worker Initiative”, May 2018.

October 2014: NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) team began exploring statewide CHW initiative opportunities.

January 2015: DHHS team conducted CHW program inventory.

April 2015: Statewide stakeholder meeting shares results of inventory and gathers input on developing sustainable infrastructure for CHW.

June 2015: Assessment conducted on CHW initiatives in southeastern US states.

December 2015: Second stakeholder meeting held to create plan for moving forward.

February 2016: Workgroups formed to draft recommendations for core competencies and training.

September 2016: Draft recommendations completed.

November 2016: NC Community Health Workers Summit.

April – June 2017: Regional Listening Sessions.

June 2017: NC CHW Survey.

May 2018: Final report and recommendations.