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CHW Education & Training

Advocacy & Sustainability

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Certified CHWs in PA


For more on CHW certification in PA, visit:

PA Certification Board

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Employers Rely on Grants

Currently, 58% of PA CHW employers rely on grants to fund CHW positions, making long-term planning and continuity of programming tenuous.

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Fund via MCO Contracts

Only 13% of CHW employers fund CHW positions through MCO contracts, with 28% funded for the cost to employ CHWs and smaller portions funded at least partially by fee-for-service (20%) and VBP (20%) contracts.


What is a Community Health Worker?


Community Health Workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who assist in improving quality of care and breaking down cultural barriers to treatment. CHWs bridge the gap between people in need of care and care providers – and as members of the community they serve, they help build trust and open lines of communication.

A CHW may go by many titles including: Community Health Representative, Community Health Advisor, Health Coach, Family Advocate, Health Educator, Liaison, Outreach Worker, Patient Navigator, Public Health Aide, Patient Care Coordinator, Promotores de Salud.

Likewise, CHWs work in a wide variety of settings that may include hospital systems, non-profit and faith-based organizations, public and private clinics, educational systems, learning extension centers, public agencies or even serving clients within their homes.

As a CHW, you will make an impact locally: 

  • You will help your neighbors address high-priority chronic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, mental health and obesity.

  • You will help reduce health disparities and enhance health equity.

  • You will help improve clinical outcomes for patients.

  • You will join a network of amazing students, graduates, instructors and employers already serving in our communities.

In the Words of CHWs

"I loved coming to class because I knew I would learn something interesting or even new at every class."

Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative

"I have been a CHW for years, but not recognized by Community or the Network I represent. After CHW training I learned there is so much more we can do for our community. I access social determinants of health that can save lives. So thinking of that I decided to go forward, and get my Certification through the state of PA."

Valley Health Partners at LVHN

"I loved this program. It taught me so much that I did not know. It is something that I use in my job currently and I can always use in the future."

St. Luke's Hospital

About the PA AHECs & the CHW Collaborative

Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (AHEC) regions offer CHW training program designed to provide the core competencies needed for CHWs to work in community-based organizations and in outpatient and inpatient medical settings, as well as apply for state certification as a Community Health Worker. Training classes also attend to and incorporate a trauma-informed approach to care, and this mindset reaches beyond the classroom as an organizing principle of the collaborative: to support and strengthen individuals engaged in community health work and the organizations who employ them. 


The PA Community Health Worker (CHW) Collaborative is a growing local, regional, and statewide network focused on working together to address individual and community health. It's not something new necessarily, perhaps more a way of organizing active collaboration, education, and support around community health workers in our health centers, community organizations, and neighborhoods. 


By working together our hope is to be part of something greater than the sum of its parts. 

PA Collaborative Partners

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