109 Governor St, 9th Fl Richmond VA, 23219 Heather Board 804-864-7738 Heather.Board@vdh.virginia.gov The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) proposes to grow and enhance the Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce in key regions across Virginia by partnering to expand training and apprenticeship opportunities and offering financial support during training and apprenticeship and continuing education for certified CHWs. All funded efforts will take place in three key regions across the state: Richmond and Henrico Health District, which serves the capital region; Blue Ridge Health District, which serves the city of Charlottesville and the surrounding Piedmont region; and Central Shenandoah Health District, which serves rural communities in the western Shenandoah Mountain region. Each of the participating health districts has an existing CHW program and close ties to health systems, safety net providers, and nonprofits that position them well to grow placement opportunities for certified CHWs. Across Virginia, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing health disparities and inequities and underscored the role of social factors in determining health and well-being. Particularly in communities of color and low-income communities in both urban and rural areas, a deep need exists for culturally appropriate, relationship-based care and case management offered by a person with lived experience in the community they serve. While Virginia’s first CHW program began 13 years ago in Richmond with the model slowly spreading to communities across the state, many organizations have struggled to launch and sustain CHW programs. Many prospective CHWs have faced financial barriers given lack of access to childcare, transportation, and income during CHW trainings. Over the course of the three-year project period, VDH will achieve the following outcomes in partnership with a cross-sectoral network of health systems and nonprofit and community organizations
across the state: -Train at least 102 CHWs and train & deploy at least 48 CHWs in 3 years -CHWs will focus on the following priority areas to influence change in the social vulnerability index: A. Telehealth/Telemedicine B. Childhood Obesity C. Behavioral Health D. Opioids / Substance Use Disorder E. Intimate Partner Violence F. Rural Health G. Health Insurance Reform H. Drug Pricing I. Value-Based Care -Engage at least 24 partners in 3 years to address and influence improvements in the priority areas -Provide education and technical support to help at least 24 partner organizations establish or enhance sustainable CHW programs. The proposed project addresses a number of HHS/HRSA clinical priorities, including three goals from the HRSA strategic plan: 1. Improve access to care and services, including increasing and improving capacity of health care services (1.1), improve service quality and effectiveness (1.2) and connect HRSA patient populations to primary care and preventive services (1.3). 2. Foster a healthcare workforce able to address current and emerging needs, including advancing the competencies of the healthcare workforce (2.1 and optimizing the distribution and diversity of the healthcare workforce (2.2), and 3. Enhance population health and address health disparities through community partnerships, including leveraging community partnerships to improve population health and health disparities (3.1) promoting health and disease prevention (3.2) and implementing effective health care and public health practices to address community needs (3.3). Funding request: VDH is requesting $2,999,487 through this funding opportunity; VDH is not currently the lead applicant on any other HRSA workforce grants. Funding Preference: VDH qualifies for funding preference under both Category 1 and 2, given that 87% of CHW trainees in our state have been from a disadvantaged background over the past two years and once graduated from our program, 89% work
ed at MUA and/or MUPs.