Grant Funding for Community Health Worker Programs
Grant funding for community health worker (CHW) programs and research on their impact is available from a variety of foundations, organizations, and federal agencies. Many rural CHW programs receive financial support through federal, state, and foundation grants. Insurance companies and other businesses may provide funding support for CHW programs. Below are several examples of entities that have previously funded CHW programs and research.
For a discussion of reimbursement approaches to sustain CHW programs, see Sustainability Strategies. For a list of current CHW funding opportunities, see the RHIhub Online Library Funding by Topic: Community Health Workers. For information on other funders, see Funders of Rural Programs in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Examples of Federal Agencies that Fund Rural CHW Programs
- The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has supported rural CHW programs through many funding mechanisms, including the former Frontier Community Health Care Coordination Network Grant Program.
- Several other divisions and programs within HRSA have offered funding for CHW programs and initiatives. Funding opportunities have been made available through the Bureau of Health Workforce through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program, as well as the Bureau of Primary Health Care, HIV/AIDS Bureau, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has supported many grant programs that involve CHWs, including a program focused on state public health actions to prevent and control diabetes, heart disease, obesity and associated risk factors and promote school health.
- The National Institutes of Health have funded CHW programs, including the Community Health Worker Health Disparities Initiative through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Examples of Foundations that Fund Rural CHW Programs
Many foundations and philanthropic organizations provide funding or other resources to sustain rural CHW programs.
- In 2009, the Aetna Foundation awarded community health grants for philanthropic initiatives focusing on delivering health education and/or increasing access to healthcare using promotoras.
- In 2004 and 2009, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided support to promote the role of CHWs in Minnesota through the RWJF Local Funding Partnerships program.
- In 2010, the California Health Care Foundation began building a statewide network of CHWs facilitating the exchange of information about outreach and service delivery strategies, local and statewide issues, lessons learned and best practices. Through this initiative, six regional collaboratives are charged with developing regional action plans.
- In 2017, the Merck Foundation provided funding to help replicate a successful CHW program for high-risk diabetes patients in rural Appalachia to Federally Qualified Health Centers and rural hospitals in southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, and West Virginia.
- In 2016-2017, the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health provided support to the National Rural Health Association and the Texas A&M Community Health Worker Training Center to develop and disseminate a CHW oral health curriculum across Texas and New Mexico.
- As of March 2020, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funded 76 interventions that use CHWs, including programs in rural Appalachian Kentucky and rural New Mexico.
Resources to Learn More
Resources and Reference
on Grant Writing
A guide to help identify grant opportunities and supporting resources for developing a proposal to fund a promotor(a) and CHW program. Includes a sample budget and grant proposal for a CHW program.
Organization(s): MHP Salud