Funding CHW Programs and Services in Minnesota: Looking to the Future


Catherine Dower, Melissa Knox, Vanessa Lindler, Ed O'Neil

Dec 2006

Minnesota is often ranked as the healthiest state in America. However, for many Minnesotans, high quality health care and high health status are still elusive. In particular, several racial and ethnic minority groups in Minnesota experience higher rates of disease and premature death than white groups. Several steps have been taken in Minnesota to advance the use of Community Health Workers as part of the effort to address health disparities and to improve health care for Minnesotans generally. In this report of sustainable financing models for community health workers, a number of examples, best practices and promising directions have been identified and described. Many public and private sector organizations have taken the lead on committing support to community health workers and the services they provide. While community health workers face several challenges and hurdles, this emerging workforce appears to have tremendous potential to improve access to and quality of health care while maintaining or decreasing costs.