Project Description

PromotoraIn California, one of the most culturally diverse states in the country, health care must bridge cultural and linguistic divides to serve all communities equitably. As trusted community members with lived experience, community health workers and promotores have a long history of connecting those not well served by the traditional health care system with culturally competent health and social services.

When people have access to health care that respects their cultural values and behaviors, delivered in language they can understand, they are more likely to have positive health outcomes. Through this project, our goal is for Medi-Cal managed care plans to have the tools to effectively integrate this highly effective workforce into their programs and services, improving health outcomes for Medi-Cal members across the state and forging a path to health equity for all Californians.

The Community Health Workers & Promotores in the Future of Medi-Cal project (October 2020 through October 2021) is intended to give California’s managed care plans (MCPs) a head start to fully advance the role and benefits of CHW/Ps. Its goal is for managed care plans (MCPs) and their partners to have the tools to better integrate this highly effective community health worker and promotor (CHW/P) workforce into their programs and services. Advancing this workforce will ultimately improve health outcomes for Medi-Cal members across the state and forge a path to health equity for all Californians.

To inform this work, CHCF engaged CHW/Ps and more than thirty stakeholder organizations interested in supporting the advancement of the CHW/P workforce to better serve Medi-Cal members. From February 2020 to August of 2021, the project released four stakeholder- informed and reviewed resource packages addressing key components of CHW/P integration. In October 2021 these packages were compiled and re-released as an Advancing Community Health Worker & Promotor Workforce in the Future of Medi-Cal online Resource Center and comprehensive downloadable companion Resource Guide (PDF).

A project team led by In-Sight Associates spent a year gathering best practices to help organizations hire, train, and engage CHW/Ps throughout local health care systems. These local and national subject matter experts, along with HMA and CHCS, informed the topics covered in this Resource Center and accompanying Resource Guide, contributed practical resources, and reviewed the compiled materials. In coordination with the many stakeholders involved in this process, CHCS authored the Resource Center and Resource Guide.

Project Values Statement

Like community health workers and promotores themselves, the Community Health Workers & Promotores in the Future of Medi-Cal project is guided by a longstanding commitment to achieving health equity for our communities. We will base our work on respect, collaboration, direct communication, and shared responsibility. We appreciate the wide variety of contributions made by CHW/Ps across California and will highlight diverse perspectives to support CHW/Ps and elevate this vital workforce.

Project Impact Statement

The Community Health Workers & Promotores in the Future of Medi-Cal project will help Medi-Cal managed care plans and their partners deploy effective, evidence-based CHW/P programs, with the overarching goal of achieving health equity.

Project contributors will both learn and share information about California and national models, strategies, and tools for integrating CHW/Ps into health care programs. Contributors will further appreciate CHW/Ps’ role in providing a trusted connection to culturally responsive services for Medi-Cal members. Our hope is that the project will also foster relationships among participants that will lead to future collective work.

Project Grantees

Community Health Workers & Promotores in the Future of Medi-Cal is a CHCF project carried out by In-Sight Associates (ISA), Health Management Associates (HMA), Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), Le Chevallier Strategies, and Schoen Consulting, organizations dedicated to improving health care in the United States.