Community Health Worker Outreach Initiative Extended
Extension will provide an estimated $3 million in unspent funds for partner agencies.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Community Health Worker (CHW) Outreach Initiative has been extended after the federal government extended the CARES Act funding into 2021. Originally slated to end December 30th, this extension will provide an estimated $3 million in unspent funds for partner agencies to conduct outreach by deploying CHWs through end of January and possibly into February.
The extension comes at a time when the county is experiencing a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Having trusted community members as ambassadors will ensure that hardest hit communities are getting accurate information to help slow the spread.
The CHW Outreach initiative began mid-October with a budget of $18.5 million and mobilized a Public Health Team of about 60 CHWs, and in partnership with California Community Foundation, contracted with 16 community-based organizations with existing peer outreach networks to conduct outreach countywide to those most impacted by the virus.
Together, these 16 agencies mobilized more than 900 part-time and full-time CHWs who conducted more than 200,000 outreach activities virtually and in the community across LA County, reaching an estimated 369,000 individuals, and distributing 232,000 face coverings and 60,000 hand sanitizer bottles.
The multidisciplinary initiative engaged different peer workers, including promotores, indigenous and people of color advocates, health outreach workers, essential worker advocates, parent advocates, and gang intervention workers and peace ambassadors; all were credible messengers who provided “virus interruption” by amplifying accurate and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 within their communities and networks. The initiative is building infrastructure for a community-based system of care and supported workforce development by training CHWs in field safety, trauma informed practice, and supervision skills.
“These Community Health Workers and promotores are trusted community members who not only share the ethnicity and language of the people they serve, they are often from those very same neighborhoods,” said Hilda L. Solis, Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and Supervisor to the First District. “With this current surge, we are seeing huge disparities in communities of color that have the fewest resources. It is more important now than ever that these respected communicators continue providing those hardest hit by the pandemic with the information and resources that will allow them to protect themselves and their families.”
“The Community Health Worker Outreach Initiative has been one of the most effective communication programs through Los Angeles County’s response to COVID-19 and this extension, will allow critical efforts to continue across the hardest hit communities,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Public Health is committed to closing the gaps experienced among communities of color, where there are higher case, hospitalization, and death rates. This extension provides communities across the county with critical information about COVID-19 vaccinations, dispels myths and rumors, and informs residents on steps they can take to slow the spread of the virus, including following safety protocols, getting tested, and reporting workplace outbreaks.”
CHW Outreach Partner Agencies – California Community Foundation (Fiscal Agency)
Alma Family Services
Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON)
Clinica Msr. Oscar A. Romero
East LA Women's Center
East Valley Community Health Center, Inc.
Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California
Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation Soledad Enrichment Action, Inc (SEA)
Southern California Crossroads
St. John's Well Child & Family Center
The Children's Center of the Antelope Valley
The Wellness Center
United American Indian Involvement, Inc. (UAII)
Urban Peace Institute
Vision y Compromiso
CHW Outreach Training & Communications Partners
Urban Peace Institute
Worker Education Resource Center
Team Friday (Communications