Background: Health care organizations (HCOs) are seeking guidance and a clear evidence base to integrate social and non-health care services to support populations that have been historically marginalized. Integrating community health workers (CHWs) as part of engagement with individuals and connection to health care can result in reducing missed opportunities in preventive health care, improved patient mental health outcomes, access to primary care, quality of care, and chronic disease control. As HCOs move to address health equity, evidence is needed for engaging marginalized populations that result in positive health benefits.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: The project team will translate findings from three PCORI-funded studies and other related research involving CHWs that reduce disparities in care for HCOs; create educational materials to educate HCOs on conditions and factors that lead to improved patient engagement and access to care; incorporate perspectives of patients and community and evidence from PCORI studies; and provide educational events for HCOs and an ongoing information exchange forum to share experiences, challenges, and learnings.
Objectives: The project has two main objectives:
- Bring actionable information about evidence-based CHW interventions to HCOs seeking to address health equity. Disseminate the key message: Personalized interventions with CHWs are effective for enhancing care management.
- Involve CHWs, patients, community partners, and local coalitions in the development of HCO education and training materials to integrate what matters to CHWs, patients, and communities in interpretation of PCORI-funded research evidence—especially for individuals who are from a historically marginalized group and have a chronic condition.
Activities: To meet these objectives, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the National Urban League (NUL) will:
- Convene diverse stakeholders and PCORI-funded investigators to translate the evidence base and develop dissemination materials and trainings for HCOs.
- Disseminate materials through webinars, a panel presentation, blogs, podcasts, and a virtual learning platform.
Projected Outcomes & Outputs: Deliverables from this project include presentation slides, educational training materials, and multimedia content for HCO leaders, providers, and other stakeholders so they can incorporate findings into their efforts to improve equitable access and outcomes. Materials will be disseminated through multiple channels including two NCQA events and a virtual learning platform. The platform will allow organizations to actively share information about the feasibility of evidence, as well as discuss the educational materials and provide feedback on additional research needs.
Patient & Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The project will include a steering committee of diverse representatives from several sectors, including patients, HCOs, CHWs, business leads, public health agencies, education, nonprofit community-based organizations, philanthropy, and local communities. NUL has experience with bringing patient, community, and family voices to the table. The steering committee will meet to review and react to educational materials and divide into smaller workgroups to further refine materials and content for dissemination. As part of active dissemination of the education materials through multiple mediums, the project team will include community and client speakers to share stories or present at the events.
Project Collaborators: The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and The National Urban League (NUL) will co-lead this project with input from PCORI-funded researchers: Shreya Kangovi, MD, MSHP, of the University of Pennsylvania; Sonya Shin, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School; and Ellen Poleshuck, PhD, of the University of Rochester.