Host organization: California Association for Public Hospitals/Safety Net Institute (CAPH/SNI)

CAPH/SNI supports California’s public health care systems by informing and shaping policy, providing performance measurement and reporting expertise, and accelerating and supporting decision-making and learning, within and across member systems. As part of its programming, CAPH/SNI brings together 25 regional coalitions which are improving care for individuals with complex health and social needs.

Each coalition, known as a Whole Person Care (WPC) pilot, brings together public health care systems, behavioral health providers, Medi-Cal managed care health plans, and social service organizations to identify their shared, highest-risk clients and to provide them with comprehensive, coordinated care. WPC pilots also pay for services not typically covered by Medi-Cal but which show promise for addressing complex needs, such as sobering centers, jail reentry support, and peer health workers.

Issue: Hiring and supporting peer health workers

Nearly every WPC pilot chose to make peer support a central feature of service design and delivery. Regardless of the delivery model or nomenclature, WPC pilots agree that peers play a critical role in the success of the program. Pilots also agree that they face similar challenges engaging peers in whole person care and they are seeking learning opportunities to overcome those barriers. Particular help is needed in the following areas:

  • Designing peer trainings that offer both practical skills to succeed at the job and emotional support to address vicarious trauma.
  • Structuring pay grades and career ladders to adequately compensate peers for their essential work.
  • Effectively integrating peers into care team structures and processes.
  • Gathering meaningful input from peers in service delivery design.


CAPH/SNI and the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs will bring together up to 25 regional coalitions to learn from one other and problem-solve together on the topic of peer support. The convening will focus on operational challenges and practical solutions with the input of peer health workers from across the state.

Outcome: Develop and adapt tools to better support peers

Through this convening, CAPH/SNI and the National Center expect to address the operational barriers to peer support, spread promising practices across the 25 WPC pilots, and facilitate the ongoing, active involvement of peers in design and implementation of a peer support model.

For more information on this event, please contact the host organization.