Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) Publications


Winning policy change to promote community health workers: lessons from massachusetts in the health reform era

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Health Policy and Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Certification; *Community Health Workers; Cooperative Behavior; Health Care Reform; Humans; Massachusetts; *Policy; Public Health Administration; Societies


Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Public Health


There is a national movement among community health workers (CHWs) to improve compensation, working conditions, and recognition for the workforce through organizing for policy change. As some of the key advocates involved, we describe the development in Massachusetts of an authentic collaboration between strong CHW leaders of a growing statewide CHW association and their public health allies. Collaborators worked toward CHW workforce and public health objectives through alliance building and organizing, legislative advocacy, and education in the context of opportunities afforded by health care reform. This narrative of the path to policy achievements can inform other collaborative efforts attempting to promote a policy agenda for the CHW workforce across the nation.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Public Health. 2011 Dec;101(12):2211-6. Epub 2011 Oct 20. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of public health

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed