Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management



Funding Area

Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management


September 30, 2010


This NYHealth-funded report provides background on the state of the Community Health Worker (CHW) field, the emerging evidence supporting use of CHWs, and the opportunities to advance the field in New York.

CHWs are frontline public health workers who are trusted members of the community they serve. They function as liaisons between communities and health and social services, facilitating access to services as well as building individual and community capacity.

Numerous studies have shown that CHWs can improve health outcomes, address disparities, and reduce the use of resource-intensive services by helping high-need populations access and navigate fragmented health and social service systems, make positive changes in their behaviors, and adhere to complicated treatment regimens. Despite this evidence, the CHW workforce in New York (approximately 11,000) does not have a standard scope of practice, core competencies, training and certification, or sustainable funding streams. As a result, NYHealth is investing in a statewide CHW initiative through partnerships with CHWs statewide, such as the Community Health Worker Network of NYC, the Community Health Worker Association of Rochester, and the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The goal of the initiative is to establish sustainable financing for the CHW workforce in New York State.