How Community Health Workers and Promotores Can Support Individuals with Complex Needs amid COVID-19

July 2020

Community health workers and promotores (CHW/Ps), who typically live in the neighborhoods they serve, are uniquely positioned to foster trusting relationships and help individuals navigate the health care system, access needed health and social services, and ultimately achieve better health outcomes. Today, as COVID-19 disproportionately impacts high-risk populations and communities of color, CHW/Ps can play a valuable role in providing critical supports for people with complex health and social needs and addressing health disparities.

This webinar, coordinated by the Better Care Playbook and made possible through the Seven Foundation Collaborative, explored opportunities for health systems and plans to work with CHW/Ps to support high-need individuals, with a focus on addressing the long-term impacts of COVID-19. Featured speakers described the roles and value of CHW/Ps, shared implementation and sustainable financing strategies, and discussed how CHW programs can be established and expanded to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on high-risk populations.



I. Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Logan Kelly, MPH, Senior Program Officer, Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)

L. Kelly welcomed participants, introduced the speakers, and provided a brief overview of the Better Care Playbook.

II. The Role of Community Health Workers and Promotores amid COVID-19

Speaker: Maria Lemus, founding Executive Director, Visión y Compromiso

M. Lemus provided an overview of the work of CHW/Ps, with a focus on their importance in supporting individuals with complex needs during the pandemic and how they can promote health equity within communities. 

III. Implementing CHW/P Programs

Speaker: Shreya Kangovi, MD, MSHP, founding Executive Director, Penn Center for Community Health Workers

S. Kangovi described the evidence-based IMPaCT model, which leverages community health workers and has been implemented by institutions across the country. She shared considerations for how CHW/P programs can be successful in addressing the short- and long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IV. Health System Approaches to Building and Expanding CHW/P Programs

Speaker: Robert Fields, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Population Health, Mount Sinai Health System

R. Fields described Mount Sinai Health System’s development and financing of its CHW/P program, including expansion of the program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also shared considerations for entities that finance CHW/P programs, such as measuring the value and impact of these programs.

V. Moderated Q&A

Moderator: Logan Kelly, Senior Program Officer, CHCS

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