Understanding California’s Community Health Worker/Promotor Workforce: Four Reports


Susan A. Chapman, Jacqueline Miller, Tim Bates, and Amy Quan

November 22, 2022

In California, one of the most culturally diverse states in the country, health care must bridge cultural and linguistic divides to serve all communities equitably. As trusted community members with lived experience, community health workers and promotores (CHW/Ps) have a long history of connecting those not well served by the traditional health care system with culturally competent health and social services.

There is increasing recognition in California that CHW/Ps are a critical part of the health care workforce. In 2019, the California Future Health Workforce Commission recommended scaling the CHW/P workforce to broaden access to preventive and social support services as well as team-based, integrated primary and behavioral health care.

Despite being a critical part of California’s health workforce, there are relatively little comprehensive data on community health workers and promotores (CHW/Ps) in California. With funding from the California Health Care Foundation, Healthforce Center at UCSF fielded surveys of CHW/Ps, the institutions that train them, and the organizations that employ them. The survey data, published in a series of reports during late 2022 and early 2023, paint a more complete picture of the current CHW/P workforce as well as challenges and opportunities related to training and employment. This picture can inform policy decisions as the state looks to support and expand this important workforce.