Health Workforce Research Center – Health Equity

In the Health Workforce Research Center (HWRC) on Health Equity, we work to advance our understanding of how to ensure a diverse, prepared, committed, and resilient health workforce equipped to promote health equity. We conduct research studies with the goal of informing policy and practice recommendations that support an ecosystem where health workers can thrive. This HWRC is one part of a wider portfolio of research CHWS conducts on health equity (see our list of studies).

The role of the health workforce in advancing health equity
The health workforce plays an important role in promoting health equity by delivering culturally and linguistically congruent care to enable all populations to achieve their full potential to lead healthy lives. Achieving equitable health outcomes requires a diverse workforce that reflects the community on multiple intersecting dimensions (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, geography, socioeconomic status, disability status, language, and age). The health workforce also partners with communities to promote population health, engaging in activities such as policy development and advocacy, design and implementation of community-informed programs, and cross-sector collaboration to address the social determinants of health. 

  • Conduct innovative, timely, and relevant health workforce research, including rapid response requests, examining a range of topics on health equity.   
  • Strengthen the evidence base for health workforce education and training, including lifelong learning that enables and empowers the health workforce with the knowledge, skills, and abilities related to SDOH to foster health equity in patient care delivery and population health promotion.  
  • Engage government, academic institutions, communities, health care organizations, and other interested parties in the dissemination and translation of evidence to inform policies and practices that equip the health workforce to address SDOH and foster health equity.  
  • Perinatal workforce 
  • Doula workforce 
  • Family medicine physicians 
  • Nurse midwives 
  • Public health workforce 
  • Insurance navigators 
  • Nursing workforce, including advanced practice 
  • Physician workforce 
  • Long-term care workforce 
  • Emergency medical services 
  • Increasing awareness of the range of health workforce occupations, their demographics, and employment characteristics that are needed to advance equitable health outcomes. 
  • Identifying ways to expand job opportunities, including entry, and improve health worker experiences on the job.  
  • Defining and understanding training needs to support readiness of the health workforce to advance health equity 
  • Exploring policies and initiatives to support workforce development and placement of diverse workers to meet community need. 



These studies are supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.