Our History


About Us

As with many grassroots efforts, there were three grassroots groups related to CHWs that developed in Pennsylvania from 2019-2021 when CHW hiring began to increase in PA and when the Covid-19 pandemic was underway. These groups worked in collaboration with one another and toward a united vision to elevate CHW voices. They were the PA CHW Task Force, PA CHW Association, and Western PA CHW Collaborative. In the spring of 2023, these groups began an intentional, collaborative effort to streamline the statewide coalition approach. After a series of discussions among group leaders, consisting of CHWs and allies, members voted unanimously to unify efforts under the umbrella of the (now) statewide PA CHW Collaborative (PACHW) and establish PACHW as a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

The strength and success of the PA CHW Task Force and PA CHW Association laid the foundation and paved the way for a growing statewide network of nearly 400 CHWs and allies who could move forward together under a united effort. 

PACHW Advocacy Timeline 

More Background

The PA CHW Task Force was founded in 2019 by Temple Harrisburg as a diverse, professional organization devoted to the advancement of the CHW profession. It was the first statewide coalition of its kind in PA and brought together CHWs and allies for the purposes of networking and education. Several committees were formed, including the CHW sustainability committee in 2020.

The PA CHW Association was developed in 2021 as a group of CHWs for CHWs and as an extension of the PA CHW Task Force with a mission to unify the voices of CHWs in PA to strengthen and promote the professional identity, foster leadership at policy tables, and support its members. The PA CHW Association consisted of CHWs only and worked in coordination with allies in the PA CHW Task Force and Western PA CHW Collaborative in several initiatives.

The Western PA CHW Collaborative was also founded in 2021 as an outgrowth of the CDC grant to the Allegheny County Heath Department that funded dozens of CHW positions in Allegheny County. It was founded as a regional coalition to facilitate active collaboration, education, and support for the Western PA region, but grew considerably in 2022 and has since expand to include over 400 CHWs and allies in the Commonwealth.