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Growing Your Own: Community Health Workers and Jobs to Careers

Farrar, Brandy MS; Morgan, Jennifer Craft PhD; Chuang, Emmeline PhD; Konrad, Thomas R. PhD

The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: July/September 2011 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 234–246
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0b013e31821c6408
Article

This article evaluates the implementation and impact of 5 workforce development programs aimed at achieving skills upgrades, educational advancement, and career development for community health workers (CHWs). Quantitative and qualitative case study data from the national evaluation of the Jobs to Careers: Transforming the Front Lines of Health Care initiative demonstrate that investing in CHWs can achieve measurable worker (eg, raises) and programmatic (eg, more skilled workers) outcomes. To achieve these outcomes, targeted changes were made to the structure, culture, and work processes of employing organizations. These findings have implications for other health care employers interested in developing their CHW workforce.

Institute on Aging (Ms Farrar and Drs Morgan and Konrad) and Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research (Dr Konrad), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill; North Carolina State University, Raleigh (Ms Farrar); and University of South Florida, Tampa (Dr Chuang).

Correspondence: Brandy Farrar, MS, Institute on Aging, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 720 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, CB#1030, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (bfarrar@schsr.unc.edu).

The National Evaluation of the Jobs to Careers: Transforming the Front Lines of Health Care Initiative conducted by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with supplementary funds from the Hitachi Foundation. The primary research team from the Institute on Aging and the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill consisted of Jennifer Craft Morgan, lead principal investigator; Thomas R. Konrad, coprincipal investigator; Melissa Mann, study coordinator; Ashley Rice, data manager; and Emmeline Chuang, Janette Dill, Brandy Farrar, and Kendra Jason, graduate research assistants.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (http://www.ambulatorycaremanagement.com).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.