September 26, 2022

Tracey Smith
Director of Community Health
Illinois Public Health Association


IPHA Awarded $3 Million Grant for Community Health Worker Program

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) was awarded a $3 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). IPHA, in collaboration with a robust network of partners, will establish the Illinois Community Health Worker HelpGuideThrive program. This statewide initiative will recruit and equip Community Health Workers for employment in a broad array of health care settings throughout Illinois, with a focus on providing public health services in rural and underserved communities.

The three-year project aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Align Community Health Worker training curricula with the national core curriculum.
  • Recruit and select a minimum of 240 individuals to enroll in generalized Community Health Worker training, extended training in a specialty area, or registered apprenticeships with special emphasis on recruitment of persons of color and from rural or medically underserved areas.
  • Provide financial support in the form of stipends to all eligible trainees.
  • Offer regular continuing education opportunities; and
  • Provide workforce readiness training, field placements, and employment placement services.

“Community Health Workers are an integral part of our health care system,” said Tom Hughes, Executive Director at IPHA. “Vast disparities and inequities plague our health care system, and, as the COVID-19 Pandemic highlighted, these disparities have heavily impacted our rural and underserved communities. IPHA looks forward to working with our statewide partners to develop a pipeline of Community Health Workers equipped to serve these communities. We are proud to play an essential role in addressing health care disparities by connecting individuals to vital public health services.”

IPHA is currently working with HRSA to respond to the initial implementation requirements and will be reaching out to partners in the next few weeks.

Illinois Public Health Association
The Illinois Public Health Association is the oldest and largest public health association in the State of Illinois, powered by more than 6,000 public health professionals and advocates. As one of the largest affiliates of the American Public Health Association, IPHA is widely recognized as a leader in the field of public health advocacy, health education and promotion.


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