The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the availability of $226.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to launch the Community Health Worker Training Program.
This new program will increase the number of community health workers who play a critical role in connecting people to care, including COVID care; mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery services; chronic disease care; and other important health services.
“This funding will support these health workers—who know their communities and have their trust— as they keep their neighbors healthy, including throughout the COVID-19 response, by helping patients enroll in vital services, and by providing community education, outreach and support,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The Community Health Worker Training Program is a new multiyear program focused on education and on-the-job training to build the pipeline of public health workers. This effort will support training and apprenticeship programs to help more people enter the health workforce and serve the critical role of trusted messengers to connect people to care and support, help ensure patients follow-up on their provider’s recommendations and focus on preventive and protective factors that can improve health and well-being.
“At a time when too much misinformation is clouding the healthcare landscape, we are investing in training community health workers who are trusted voices in their communities,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “This new program will grow and train this essential part of our healthcare workforce and connect them to the communities and employers who need them most.”
Through this program, HRSA plans to train 13,000 community health workers, increasing access to care, improving public health emergency response, and addressing the public health needs of underserved communities.