Pediatric Community Health Worker Learning Collaborative

Ali Goodyear, MPH, WCAAP Program Manager

Last month, WCAAP wrapped up our pediatric Community Health Worker (CHW) Learning Collaborative that supported eight clinics across Washington state as they embed CHWs into their care teams. With funding from the Washington State Department of Health, WCAAP provided individualized coaching; sessions for CHWs and their care team members on CHW role clarity, workflows, sustainability, and reflective supervision; and monthly opportunities for CHWs to come together for collaboration and peer learning on topics such as strengths-based practice, trauma-informed care, confidentiality, working with schools, perinatal mental health, supporting patients with developmental disabilities, and self-care.

Over the nine-month collaborative, participating clinics made significant progress with CHW role clarity and team integration. Some of the most notable improvements reported by CHWs include:

  • 42% improvement in role acceptance
  • 33% improvement in team integration

Improvements reported by clinic-wide teams include:

  • 20% improvement in Electronic Health Record documentation
  • 17% improvement in CHW training
  • 16% improvement in CHW role utilization
  • 16% improvement in sharing care
  • 15% improvement in CHW role acceptance

One participant shared, “We have had many productive discussions about the CHW role and integration. It is nice to share common issues across different clinics and share helpful ideas.”

Looking ahead, WCAAP will continue to support Washington’s pediatric CHW workforce through advocacy, training and engagement opportunities, and our upcoming Pediatrics Supporting Parents Learning Collaborative. Through the 2024 state legislative session, WCAAP was successful in advocating for continued funding for pediatric CHWs, including the establishment of a CHW Medicaid benefit. We look forward to continuing to support the success and sustainability of CHWs and advocating for the needs of this workforce that plays an instrumental role in improving care and promoting health equity for children and families. As one clinic shared, “Our CHW really helps to close the gap and come full circle with our families and their needs.”

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