Penn Center for Community Health Workers: Step-by-Step Approach to Sustain an Evidence-Based Community Health Worker Intervention at an Academic Medical Center

In the American Journal of Public Health, Anna Morgan and colleagues, including Dave Grande, Judith Long, and Shreya Kangovi, describe the process by which Penn’s Center for Community Health Workers grew from a small grant-funded research project into a robust program serving 2,000 patients annually and funded through the health system’s operational budget. The authors describe an 8-step framework to engage both low-income patients and funders, determine outcomes, and calculate return on investment. The case illustrates a path toward sustainability for other community-based interventions, which often end when the grant funding ends. A systematic approach to building financial sustainability may help to ensure that effective programs survive beyond the grant cycle.