Improving Access to HIV Care Using Community Health Workers (CHWs)
Improving linkage to care, retention and health outcomes for people living with HIV
The 3-year HRSA-funded initiative Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care seeks to increase the use of community health workers (CHW) to improve access to /retention in health care and to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV. The project focuses on assisting medical care provider sites to integrate CHWs into an HIV multidisciplinary team model through training, technical assistance, and collaborative learning.
CAHPP has assembled a multi-organizational team for implementation and evaluation for this initiative. The team includes staff from BU Medical School’s Center for Implementation and Improvement Sciences (CIIS), BU School of Social Work, BU School of Public Health’s Activist Lab, Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) Community Capacitation Center (CCC), MCHD HIV Health Services Center (HHSC), University of Texas School of Public Health (UT Health), the Center for Social Innovation/T3, and Impact Marketing and Communications.
Ten Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program providers nationwide who serve racial and ethnic minority populations have received subawards to integrate CHWs into their HIV care team. National data were used to inform the selection of the 10 project sites. Selection criteria included identified need, geographic location (urban/rural), and organizational interest and capacity. The sites selected are:
- CrescentCare, New Orleans, LA
- East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
- Franklin Primary Health Center, Inc., Mobile, AL
- The Jacques Initiative, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
- Legacy Community Health Services, Inc., Houston, TX
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center – Family Treatment Center, Newark, NJ
- Southern Nevada Health District, Las Vegas, NV
- Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council, Lake Charles, LA
- The McGregor Clinic, Inc., Fort Myers, FL
- University of Alabama at Birmingham 1917 Clinic, Birmingham, AL
As the Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center (TAEC) for the initiative, Boston University (BU) will provide training and technical assistance to these provider sites, especially CHWs and supervisors, as they develop and implement the CHW model in their settings. BU will also evaluate the effectiveness of the CHW model in improving linkage and retention in care, collect data on select clinical outcomes, and assess the programs implemented by the provider sites.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U69HA30462 “Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in HIV Care” ($2,000,000 of federal funding). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.
CHWs will be integrated into HIV medical teams in 10 selected sites nationwide to strengthen the health care workforce, build healthier communities, achieve health equity among racial and ethnic minority populations and ultimately improve health outcomes for people living with HIV. We will evaluate the effectiveness of CHWs in improving linkage and retention in care, assess the models implemented by Ryan White Program providers, and disseminate results for use by other organizations seeking to integrate a CHW model into their practice.
- Cross-Campus Collaboration to Improve HIV Care on BU School of Public Health website