Expanding the community health workforce

When COVID-19 began spreading rapidly among Immokalee community members living and working in crowded conditions, PIH-US joined partners at the Collier County Department of Health, Healthcare Network, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Misión Peniel to implement a comprehensive response to COVID-19. This coalition of partners recruited, trained, and equipped community health workers to provide critical services including mobile testing, PPE distribution, transportation to vaccination sites, as well as medical and social resources for farmworkers, laborers, and other vulnerable populations. The coalition mobilized close to $1 million for cash transfers for food, utilities, and housing assistance for workers who tested positive for COVID-19. The collective efforts of PIH-US and our partners emerged as a powerful force to improve access to and confidence in Immokalee’s health and social services. We’re working to integrate this community-based approach into the health system for the long term.

To expand health infrastructure, we are advising on the design and management of community health worker programs, including preparing community health workers to address other ongoing public health needs. The community health workforce mobilized to respond to COVID-19 is now providing support in non-communicable disease management such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and mental and behavioral health. Alongside this, PIH-US continues to bolster the capacity of our partners to advocate for resources and policy change.

Two people fill out a form

A community member from Immokalee, FL, speaks with the former PIH Florida Program Director as they fill out health care forms. Photo by Nishant Chandrasekar / PIH
Alongside our partners, PIH-US:

blood pressure cuffTransitioned community health workers mobilized in response to COVID-19 to focus on non-communicable disease management such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and mental and behavioral health.

CHW iconRecruited, deployed, and mentored 15 community health workers who engaged with nearly 6,000 community members including providing over 200 referrals for health care and social support.

training iconFacilitated eight trainings to community health workers, equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and professional development they need to better serve their communities.

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