Evaluation of the Baltimore Health Corps Pilot: An Economic and Public Health Response to the Coronavirus

The Baltimore Health Corps (BHC) launched in June 2020 as a way to recruit, train, and employ 275 new community health workers (CHWs) who were unemployed, furloughed, or underemployed and living in areas hardest hit by COVID-19. The CHWs served as contact tracers and care coordinators and received workforce supports, including career navigation, behavioral health support, legal services, and job placement assistance for permanent employment following the BHC. The pilot had three main objectives: 

  • Objective 1: Create jobs with racially equitable hiring and career development possibilities 

  • Objective 2: Increase capacity for COVID-19 contact tracing 

  • Objective 3: Provide essential care coordination 

Implementation of the pilot included key partnerships among the Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore Civic Fund, Baltimore Corps, HealthCare Access Maryland, Jhpiego, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and the Mayor’s Office of Performance and Innovation. 

The pilot concluded in December 2021. The final report, “Evaluation of the Baltimore Health Corps Pilot: An Economic and Public Health Response to the Coronavirus,” prepared by Abt Associates, provides insights into the workforce and public health impacts of the initiative. Additional information on the pilot can be found in the BHC early lessons report, “Tackling the Dual Economic and Public Health Crises Caused by COVID-19 in Baltimore: Early Lessons from the Baltimore Health Corps Pilot,” prepared by the Health Systems and Policy Research Lab at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.  

Read the full evaluation here.

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