New CHW Project Funded by Medical College of Wisconsin

CCHE is honored to serve as partner on a new project supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment!

The Milwaukee Area Health Education Center (M-AHEC) is the lead community organization for the Integration of CHWs into Public Health Initiatives for Rural & Urban Communities project with MCW academic partner Leslie Ruffalo, MS, PhD. CCHE’s Sarah Esmond will be working in collaboration with Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers, UW Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership, the Walnut Way, and Employ Milwaukee. The team is aiming to triple Wisconsin’s community health worker (CHW) workforce over the coming three years.

This opportunity came as a direct result of working with Allied Wellness CenterSarah Esmond to support their WELCOMERS to become certified CHWs last year. I shared an interest with AHEC about whether and how academic health systems could be employers of CHWs as part of community-engaged and other kinds of research initiatives. Building on the partnered work to transition M-AHEC’s CHW certification training to an online format, we viewed the Advancing Healthier Wisconsin opportunity as a sign to go for it.

Many thanks to M-AHEC Executive Director, DeDe Williams, WI-AHEC Director, Liz Bush, and colleagues in the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health for the opportunity to learn together about new ways of recognizing and employing CHWs in Wisconsin!


  • Learn about the other 17 projects awarded a total of $6.5 million aimed at improving health and advancing health equity across Wisconsin here.