Community health workers can improve health equity

In an American Hospital Association podcast, experts from New York’s Montefiore Medical Center discuss how its Community Health Worker Institute advances health equity. Launched in July 2021, the institute has standardized how Montefiore recruits, trains, professionalizes and integrates community health workers onto clinical teams to address patients’ health-related social needs. The health system saw community health workers who share the same lived experience as patients as an obvious solution to address social needs. To develop a business case to support the program, Montefiore initially focused on making sure people with social needs kept their primary care appointments. Establishing workflows, provider champions and data collection has helped the program to succeed.