The Penn IMPaCT Model for Community Health Worker Initiatives
The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Community Health Workers is pushing the limits of traditional patient care through co-designing care programs with patients to improve health outcomes. Instead of a top-down prescription, the designers of Penn’s IMPaCT Model listen to patients, connect with the community and highlight people’s strengths in a truly community-focused effort to improve health. And it’s working: the program has served more than 5,000 people and after its first year of practice showed a return of $2 for every $1 spent.
As an evidence-based practice, the IMPaCT Model helps patients achieve better health through intentional hiring, training and placement of Community Health Workers (CHWs). These teams infuse work practice with compassion and efficiency, guide clinical integration, ensure care is patient-focused, and use data to support their mission.
Penn IMPaCT has produced a short intro video that highlights how this model can help change the face of healthcare for the better:
Additional details on the IMPaACT Model, including tools for integrating your program with community-based organizations and resources, are available on the Center for Community Health Workers’ website.
A 2014 clinical trial published in the Journal of American Medicine sought to determine whether tailored Community Health Worker (CHW) programs improve post-hospital outcomes by addressing behavioral and socioeconomic drivers of disease. Among the conclusions of Kangovi, Mitra Grande, et al: Community Health Worker programs improve access to primary care and related outcomes, while controlling recurrent readmissions in high-risk populations.