IPHA has been a longtime leader in advancing health equity efforts in communities throughout Illinois, especially through the development of career pathways and training for Community Health Workers (CHWs). CHWs are trusted healthcare messengers and navigators who live and work in the communities they serve. CHWs connect community residents with the resources they need to manage their health, address chronic disease issues, and access available services and resources. Not only do CHWs improve health outcomes, programs like IPHA’s are able to facilitate hiring opportunities for trained CHWs, which results in new local economic opportunities and promotes health equity. CHWs are an essential component of Illinois’ coordinated response to increase access to care among residents of economically and medically under-resourced communities. Over the past decade, Illinois has taken steps to build an infrastructure to increase access to care through the support and advancement of CHWs.