In September 2015, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, and the Eastcentral Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center to launch three Community Health Worker (CHW) task forces and one steering group in Pennsylvania. These groups now include 80 stakeholder members across the Commonwealth.

The groups were created to help act on the information from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s April 2015 CHW Statewide Policy Summit in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health’s and Eastcentral Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center’s May 2015 CHW Summit in State College, CHW framing papers, CHW state environmental scan, and all of the past local CHW conferences that have occurred in communities across Pennsylvania.

The objective is to create and distribute a strategic plan and toolkit by September 2016 that compiles the deliverables and recommendations from the three task forces described below. Each group meets about once a month via conference calls and the PADOH maintains an online portal for the groups.

We are always looking for new members for the Training, Employer and Policy Task Force Groups. If you are interested in learning more about or joining one of the groups, please contact Robert Ferguson at

CHW Steering Group
  • Provide oversight of the task forces and the year-long strategic planning process
  • Monitor progress
  • Monitor the composition and size of the groups
  • Maintain transparency

Chair: Robert Ferguson, Director of Government Grants and Policy, Jewish Healthcare Foundation

CHW Training Task Force
  • Identify roles of CHWs
  • Identify core competencies, knowledge, and skills
  • Make suggestions for curriculum for training of CHWs

Co-Chairs: Shirley Moy, MSW, Co-Director of the Center for Social Policy and Community Development, College of Public Health, Temple University, and Elizabeth Schaffer, MPH, MS, CHES, Health Educator for Eastcentral PA Area Health Education Center

CHW Employer Task Force
  • Create a marketing strategy
  • Create a toolkit and fact sheet for CHW employers

Co-Chairs: Susan B. Thomas, Industry Partnership Director, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, and Claudia Siegel, MA, MPA, Director of Health Information and Improvement at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health


CHW Policy Task Force

  • Develop and advance strategies around a definition of CHWs and policies related to measurement, certification, and financing

Chair: Robert Ferguson, Director of Government Grants and Policy, Jewish Healthcare Foundation