Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities: Academic-community partnership to support workforce capacity building among Arizona community health workers

Dulce J. Jiménez, Omar Gomez, Ruby Meraz, Amanda M. Pollitt, Linnea Evans, Naomi Lee, Matt Ignacio, Katherine Garcia, Richard Redondo, Floribella Redondo, Heather J. Williamson, Sabrina Oesterle, Sairam Parthasarathy, Samantha Sabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and worsened existing health inequities among communities of color and structurally vulnerable populations. Community Health Workers, inclusive of Community Health Representatives (CHW/Rs) have entered the spotlight as essential to COVID-19 prevention and control. To learn about community experiences and perspectives related to COVID-19 and inform CHW/R workforce capacity building efforts, a series of focus groups were conducted with CHW/Rs throughout Arizona at two time points in 2021. Throughout the data collection and analysis process, researchers and community partners engaged in ongoing and open dialogue about what CHW/Rs on the ground were reporting as priority community concerns, needs, and challenges. Thus, CHW/Rs informed the development of culturally and linguistically relevant health education messages, materials, and training for CHW/Rs. In this community case study, we detail the efforts of partnership between a statewide CHW professional association and an academic research team that facilitated rapid decision-making and knowledge sharing to create community-grounded tools and resources supportive of CHW/R workforce capacity building in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1072808
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - Feb 2 2023


  • American Indian/Indigenous
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Latinx/Hispanic
  • academic-community partnership
  • community health representatives
  • community health worker (CHW)
  • mixed methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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