Improving Access to HIV Care Using Community Health Workers

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:

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.

Project Impact

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.


Project Team Members