Health disparities and workforce shortages have long been issues Kentuckians have dealt with, especially in underserved populations.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable rural   populations are in public health emergency situations due to these and other health issues.

The pandemic has also brought to light the important role CHWs have and can play in conducting community outreach, prevention education, and connecting individuals to care and support services. 

ELEVATE (Educate, Lead, Empower, Value, Access, Train, and Equity) logo. Community Health Workers.

Expanding the CHW workforce and having them fill in critical gaps in health and behavioral health care will help to address the challenges related to the SDOH- food insecurities, those living in poverty, high chronic disease rates, etc. – as this workforce will have more available time and extensive knowledge of resources to help each individual client. An enhanced, strengthen, and expanded CHW workforce will help to reduce health disparities and help underserved populations achieve health equity.

The target population for expansion and upskilling includes new and current CHWs across rural Kentucky.


Goals of the Grant

  • Add new CHWs to the workforce 
  • Provide Upskill training of current CHWs
  • Offer Apprenticeship for CHWs

Community Partners

  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc
  • Cumberland Family Medical Center
  • Department for Behavioral Health, Development and Intellectual Disabilities
  • Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program
  • Kentucky Appalachian Rural Rehabilitation Network
  • Kentucky Association of Community Health Worker
  • Kentucky Homeplace
  • Kentucky Office of Community Health Workers
  • Kentucky River District Health Department


Angela L McGuire

Positions Held:
  • Training Coordinator

Michael Nix

Positions Held:
  • Apprenticeship Coordinator

Kyle Burnett

Positions Held:
  • Project Manager

Frances Feltner, DNP

Positions Held:
  • Principle Investigator