Summaries of Compelling Data

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Map of the United States with Minnesota and Massachusetts highlighted.The following are highlights of evidence supporting the employment of CHWs in health care:

  • Case for successful Minnesota Medicaid legislation based on three studies showing return on investment
  • A total of 12 studies were used as evidence in Massachusetts report to the legislature
  • CDC used several studies for March 2011 Translation Brief, “Addressing Chronic Disease through Community Health Workers: a Policy and Systems-Level Approach”
  • Other recent evidence of note


Advocates for policy change concerning CHWs have frequently produced summaries of evidence that they consider compelling as a tool for communicating with policymakers. In the case of the 2007 Minnesota Medicaid legislation, CHW advocates, including supporters of the legislation within state government, most frequently presented a one-page summary of three diverse studies showing a positive return on investment from employing CHWs on specific health issues. We will review these on the next several slides.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health highlighted 12 published studies in its 2009 report to the legislature on the CHW workforce. And CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention selected a small number of representative studies for inclusion in its translation brief published in March 2011; the link for this brief is on the Resources page of this course. If you have not already reviewed this brief, we recommend that you do so.

The policy processes followed in both Massachusetts and Minnesota will be discussed further in Module 6.