Center for Health Equity


Leading the Way: CHW Early Adopter Learning Cohort 

Published: April 25, 2024

Leading the Way: CHW Early Adopter Learning Cohort 
Health Equity Collective group pictured.

By Maggie Green

The Community health worker (CHW) Early Adopter Learning Cohort drives innovation in the Greater Houston region, uniting a self-select group of organizations committed to advancing equity for CHWs. This cohort comprises leading CHW employers such as Harris Health System, Memorial Hermann Health System, The African American Health Coalition, Equity Bridge LLC, Network of Behavioral Health Providers, Community Health Choice, Harris County Public Health, and Houston Recovery Center. 
Launch Meeting 
On December 14, 2023, the Health Equity Collective convened a highly anticipated launch meeting for the Early Adopter Learning Cohort.  The meeting brought together organizational leaders, advocates, consultants, and CHWs, all driven by a shared goal of fostering a dynamic learning community among employers dedicated to innovation and investment in CHW roles. It underscored the collective commitment of the cohort to drive positive change and advance equity within the CHW workforce, improving health outcomes and the promotion of social justice. 
Through collaborative efforts including UTHealth Houston School of Public Health Center for Health Equity, the cohort has achieved significant milestones. The input from the broader CHW Network has shaped the development of a comprehensive Amira Systems Map. This map serves as a framework for CHW employers and training centers, guiding the implementation of employment strategies that better support CHW team members in their professional journeys while bolstering the CHW workforce. By incorporating diverse perspectives and insights, the cohort has successfully developed actionable strategies that promote equity and excellence in CHW employment practices. 
Resources Developed 
The monthly CHW Employers Early Adopters Learning Cohort meetings are central to the cohort's progress, structured around themes outlined in the Amira Systems Map. These gatherings have facilitated the exchange of strategies, successes, resources, and lessons learned among participants. The culmination of this work will result in the development of a robust CHW employer toolkit, offering actionable insights and best practices. 
Looking ahead, the Health Equity Collective (HEC) will continue hosting sessions for the 2024 learning cohort. Through a comprehensive end-of-year evaluation, the HEC will refine and adapt its approach for future endeavors. Insights and strategies gleaned from this initiative will be synthesized into an accessible toolkit for CHW employers, ensuring the widespread adoption of effective practices that support and empower CHWs. 
Impact and Future Outlook 
As this pioneering cohort continues to lead the charge, their collaborative efforts promise to shape and elevate CHW workforce development and organizational equity strategies in the Greater Houston region and beyond.