Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Do Canto Group

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

December 2017

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

July 2016 – October 2016

Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who are also trusted members of the communities in which they serve.

CHWs often have an in-depth understanding of the needs of the community that goes beyond the traditional health system. Despite their importance in the health delivery system, steady sources of financing for CHWs are often lacking. To date, NYHealth has contributed to advancing the integration of CHWs into New York State’s health delivery system.

In 2014, NYHealth and the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York co-hosted a meeting that identified necessary tasks for successfully advancing the CHW workforce across the State. Without a statewide association looking after the interests of CHWs, however, these tasks remain unaddressed. In 2016, NYHealth awarded a grant to the Do Canto Group to help identify a pathway to creating such a statewide CHW association.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Organized and convened a series of four statewide meetings with community health workers (CHWs), community health advocates, and other stakeholders;
  • Discussed topics such as:
    • Current models for statewide CHW associations and what governing structure such an association should have;
    • Potential financing structures for a statewide CHW association; and
    • What specific roles a statewide association would play in New York State (e.g., offer credentialing, determine training standards, advocate for financing, inform wage negotiations).
  • Produced meeting summaries and a findings memorandum detailing the discussion that took place for each topic and suggested pathways forward.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged:

Matching funds  of $6,500 were contributed by both the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and the John R. Oishei Foundation.