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Advancing California’s community health worker & promotor workforce in Medi-Cal

L. Kelly, A. Benyo, L. Buck, K. Moses, A. Nuamah, E. Opthof
Center for Health Care Strategies

In California and across the country, deep disparities in health outcomes based on race, income, and immigration status exist, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated.1 Reducing these disparities and improving health and well-being requires a person centered focus that integrates physical and behavioral health care with services that address health-related social needs.

Community health workers and promotores (CHW/Ps) have a long history of providing culturally congruent, person-centered services that bridge these different systems and improving the health and well-being of the people they serve. CHW/Ps perform a variety of formal roles, from supporting care transitions and referrals to encouraging and educating patients on how to take care of their own health. What makes this workforce uniquely effective is their ability to establish trusting relationships with the people they serve, grounded in shared life experience and community connections. By forging trusted relationships, CHW/Ps not only engage with individuals in health-related activities but also help to change perceptions and encourage behaviors that contribute to better health outcomes.

This Resource Guide is designed to support Medi-Cal MCPs in effectively integrating this valuable workforce into their programs. Beyond, MCPs, this Resource Guide can also inform organizations that employ CHW/Ps and
contract with MCPs, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers, community-based organizations, and other health and social service organizations. The Resource Guide was developed through the California Health Care Foundation’s Community Health Workers & Promotores in the Future of Medi-Cal project. This project engaged stakeholders with a deep knowledge of the field to inform a series of four resource packages that support the integration of CHW/Ps into programs for Medi-Cal members

Kelly L, Benyo A, Buck L, Moses K, Nuamah A, Opthof E. Advancing California’s community health worker & promotor eorkforce in Medi-Cal. California Health Care Foundation; October 2021. Available online.

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Issue Briefs & Reports