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

September 30, 2022

The Baltimore Health Corps was a city-run pilot launched in June 2020 and concluding in December, 2021. The pilot simultaneously addressed two issues: the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting employment crisis faced by Baltimore residents.The Baltimore City Health Department and the Mayor's Office of Employment Development led the Baltimore Health Corps, drawing on their experiences with equitable recruitment and hiring practices, workforce-supporting activities and public health worker training. Together, they led a team of public and private partners that included the Baltimore Civic Fund, Baltimore Corps, HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM), Jhpiego and the Mayor's Office of Performance and Innovation.The initiative tracked those who contracted the virus at the height of the pandemic and connected COVID-19-positive individuals with testing, resources and other assistance. In doing so, the Baltimore Health Corps also placed unemployed workers on a path to high-quality, lasting careers via temporary positions as community health workers with the Baltimore City Health Department and HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM). The program hired from a pool of Baltimore residents who reflected the city's racial and ethnic demographics and were unemployed, underemployed or furloughed because of the pandemic. By September 2021, 336 health workers had received training and took on roles within either the Health Corps' contact tracing and outreach program or the care coordination and access program.While these health worker positions were intended to last just eight months, as the pandemic persisted, the jobs were extended thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. As of May 2022, 126 Baltimore Health Corps workers remain employed with either the health department or HCAM, while 119 former staff members have since moved on to other employment opportunities.This is the Final Report to follow the Early Lessons Report for the Baltimore Health Corps Pilot Study. Readers are encouraged to review the Early Lessons Report for a detailed description of the formation of the Pilot Study, the role of each partner, as well as findings from the first year of the Pilot Study.