Support & Sustain CHWs

Due largely to a nationwide fiscal cliff of over $1.1 billion of federal ARPA and CARES funding for CHWs, including over a $19.9 million loss for CHWs in Pennsylvania, CHW programs are ending at a rapid rate across the Commonwealth. As evidence of the CHW role in addressing health disparities and reducing spending continues to increase, the sustainability of the CHW role in PA remains at risk without a long-term financing structure. Currently, 51% of Pennsylvania CHW employers rely on grants to fund positions, making long-term planning and continuity of programming tenuous. CHWs and CHW allies across Pennsylvania have been working together to strongly encourage PA Dept. of Human Service, Office of Medical Assistance Programs to implement long-term financing recommendations to support and sustain the growing and unique CHW workforce in Pennsylvania.

Advocacy Timeline

Rally Day @ the Capitol

PACHW held its first CHW Rally Day at the State Capitol on October 17, 2023, and 150 CHWs and CHW allies from across the Commonwealth attended. “Support and Sustain CHWs” was the rallying cry. The rally took place on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg. Rally speakers included 10 CHWs from PA, as well as keynote speakers Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen and Rep. Stephen Kinsey, Chairman of the House Human Services Committee.

CHWs and allies met with over 20 legislators that day to educate about their role and the need to support and sustain the profession. CHW Rally Day will be held again in fall 2024. 



CHWs are Community Advocates

Advocacy is working with or on behalf of people to exercise their rights and gain access to resources.

CHWs sometimes speak up on behalf of their clients and their communities within their own agencies, with other service providers, and to support changes in public policies.  More importantly, CHWs support clients and communities in raising their own voices to create meaningful changes – including changes in public policies – that influence health and well-being. 

What CHWs can do for clients/patients:

    • Provide information and support for people to advocate for themselves overtime and to participate in the provision of improved services

    • Advocate on the behalf of clients and communities, as appropriate, to assist people to attain needed care or resources in a resources in a reasonable and timely fashion

    • Use a variety of strategies, such as role modeling, to support clients in meeting objectives depending on challenges and changing conditions.


      • List personal safety strategies

      • Create a personal safety plan

      • Identify and recognize signs plan

      • Identify and utilize coping strategies for managing stress and staying healthy 

      • Define outreach and identify ways to connect with community

        • Identify ways to connect with community 

        • Ability to speak up for individuals for communities and withstand intimidation

        • Ability to use language appropriately

        • Ability to overcome barriers