Community Health Worker Institute

The Community Health Worker Institute (CHWI) supports the advancement of the CHW workforce through training, coaching & showing impact in communities & working in partnership with clinical teams.

The CHWI is focused on five core areas of community health work: training, technical assistance, community health worker leadership development, and community impact, and sustainability.

The Community Health Worker Institute trains CHWs, provides technical assistance to help organizations integrate CHWs into their work utilizing best practices, and helps advance CHW evaluation and policy so that CHWs can help more South Carolinians access the resources they need and advance equity in their communities.

Research on CHWs shows proven effectiveness in reducing health inequities, containing costs, and improving outcomes across a wide range of diseases and conditions, including:


  1. Diabetes: African American patients with diabetes in West Baltimore City resulted in a decline in emergency room (ER) visits by 40%, ER admissions to hospitals declined by 33%, and Medicaid payments declined by 27%. The CHW program resulted in an average savings of $2,245 per patient per year, and a total savings of $262,080 for 117 patients.1
  2. Pediatric Asthma: CHWs provided in-home support among 74 low-income households with a child aged 4–12 years who had asthma. The CHW intervention resulted in decreased exposure to indoor asthma triggers and showed a projected four-year net savings per participant among the high intensity group was $721.2
  3. Blood Pressure: Patients assigned to the CHW group had a 26% higher rate of improvement in medication compliance than the control group. At the end of the 36-month RCT, 44% of the CHW group had controlled blood pressure as compared to 31% of the control group.3
  4. Primary care vs. ED Utilization: CHWs provided patient education for up to six months with 448 Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCO) enrollees in 11 counties in New Mexico. There was a significant reduction in both numbers of claims and payments for the CHW intervention group, including a greater reduction in costs for the CHW-intervention group in use of ambulatory and ED services, and an overall 4:1 return on investment for the CHW intervention group. 4