In collaboration with statewide partners, the Department of Health (DOH) developed guidelines for implementing training and education recommendations for community health workers, building on the work of a Task Force. DOH has provided a report to the Legislature on the progress of this phase.
April 10, 2019
March 18, 2019
January 15, 2019
Community Health Workers (CHWs) help people understand the health care system and connect people to health services such as preventive care screenings, behavioral health support and chronic disease self-management. They also provide health education and teach people about self-care. As trusted members of their communities, CHWs are essential to Washington State's goals to provide whole person care and help people live longer, healthier lives within healthy families and communities.
In Washington State, there is a limited policy framework guiding the use of CHWs in health systems. In 2015, a CHW Task Force was convened as part of the state's Healthier Washington initiative to develop actionable policy recommendations to align the CHW workforce with other projects under the initiative. The Task Force released a report in 2016 with recommendations about CHW roles, skills, and qualities, training and education needs, and finance and sustainability considerations for long-term CHW integration into Washington's health care system.
About the CHW Training & Education Project
This project sought to:
- Engage in community conversations at locations across the state to learn from CHWs about their priorities related to education, training and their work. This engagement will prioritize CHW voices in identifying how the CHW workforce can be best supported through training and education.
- Reconvene CHW Task Force members to develop guidelines for implementing the community health worker training and education recommendations from the 2016 Task Force Report.
- Submit a final report to the Legislature by June 30, 2019.
The activities completed during this project supports the following long-term outcomes:
- Access to CHW services at a regional level by employers, communities, and individuals
- Standardized training guidelines for CHWs potentially available through multiple methods and training providers
- Continuous quality improvement methods for supporting an effective CHW workforce
- A CHW workforce with increased access to information and resources supporting the Healthier Washington initiative and our state's goals to move towards value-based purchasing of health care