Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care

Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care

Logo of Community Health Workers TA Project

On July 2016, HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau released a Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative federal funding opportunity, Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care. In August 2016, HRSA awarded a three-year cooperative agreement program to Boston University’s (BU) Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice (CAHPP). The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to increase the utilization of community health workers (CHW) to strengthen the health care workforce and improve access to health care and health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority people living with HIV (PLWH). The project focuses on assisting medical care provider sites to integrate CHWs into an HIV multidisciplinary team model through training, technical assistance, and collaborative learning.

Project Team

CAHPP has assembled a multi-organizational team for implementation and evaluation for this initiative. The team includes staff from BU Medical School’s Center for Implementation and Improvement Sciences (CIIS), BU School of Social Work, BU School of Public Health’s Activist Lab, Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) Community Capacitation Center (CCC), MCHD HIV Health Services Center (HHSC), University of Texas School of Public Health (UT Health), the Center for Social Innovation/T3, and Impact Marketing + Communications.

Activities

The project will focus on assisting 10 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) HIV medical provider sites with the support needed to integrate CHWs into the HIV multidisciplinary team model through training, direct technical assistance, and collaborative learning sessions. CAHPP and its multi-organization team will develop CHW curriculum, train CHWs and supervisors, and provide technical assistance as these providers develop and implement the CHW model developed. CAHPP will also evaluate the effectiveness of the CHW model in improving linkage and retention in care, collect data on select clinical outcomes and assess the interventions implemented by the 10 RWHAP HIV medical provider sites. 

Project Impact

CHWs will be integrated into HIV medical teams to strengthen the health care workforce, build healthier communities, achieve health equity among racial and ethnic minority populations and ultimately improve health outcomes for PLWH. CAHPP will evaluate the effectiveness of CHWs in improving linkage and retention in care, assess the models implemented by Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program providers, and disseminate results for use by other organizations seeking to integrate a CHW model into their practice. 

Contacts

Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice

Allyson Baughman, MPH
Senior Program Manager
Boston University School of Public Health, CAHPP 

Sally S. Bachman, PhD
Director
Boston University School of Public Health, CAHPP 

HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau

Brian Fitzsimmons
Project Officer
HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau