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Arnold School of Public Health

Community Health Worker Institute

Well trained and supported community health workers (CHWs) can help fill population health gaps, connect vulnerable populations to health and social service resources in the community, improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery, and help health systems achieve a significant financial return on investment. The recently funded Community Health Worker Institute (CHWI) will provide CHW training and curriculum development; recruitment and job placement; technical assistance for health systems towards CHW integration, evaluation and payment model design; and return on investment studies (ROI).


To meet the infrastructure support needs of a high quality CHW system, the CHWI will address the following needs.

The Institute is developing high quality entry- level training to CHWs based on national standards, with a strong focus on social determinants and public health. Other tracks will include CHW Supervisor Training, Continuing Education, and Specialty Areas. Innovative models are being explored, including distance-learning, and partnerships with technical colleges. A rigorous field program will be developed, ensuring CHWs are able to obtain firsthand training and experience.

The Institute works with workforce training and placement agencies to recruit and screen potential CHWs. The Institute also works with hospitals, health system payers, health clinics, health departments and other organizations to connect qualified, trained CHWs to open positions.

The Institute will provide training and technical assistance to health and other organizations on developing CHW programs and integrating CHWs into their models of practice and health delivery teams, on CHW data extraction, data set development and evaluation design. A CHW Toolkit will be developed.

The Institute is in the process of identifying three pilot sites within South Carolina with CHWs as part of their systems of care and will evaluate the ROI of these projects. The RFP for participation is being developed. The chosen programs will be evaluated in Years 2-3. Data will be collected and analyzed on outcomes related to upstream prevention activities, social determinants of health, health education and behavior change, and patient engagement, among others.

The Institute is working with current and potential payers to determine the feasibility of new models to cover CHW services. National experts will be consulted on Manage Care reimbursement, value- based care models, and others.


Community Health Worker Institute
Phone: 803-576-8379

Director, Core for Applied Research and Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-2297

Director, Workforce Development
Arnold School of Public Health
Phone: 803-777-8980

Graduate Assistant
Department of Health Service Policy and Management