We hope you will find the Health Extension Toolkit easy to use, with all the resources within just a point-and-click away! We have created a short video to help users take advantage of all the elements on the site:

You don’t need to read the Toolkit from “cover-to-cover,” but can jump directly to modules and subheadings of relevance to your own profession or geographic circumstance.

Finally, we intend this document to be “living” and growing. Health Extension is so new, we all need to learn from each other and share our strategies, what works and what doesn’t in our environment. There are many ways to collaborate on the toolkit, from contributing material to posting on the HERO blog.

Who is the Health Extension Toolkit for?

The Health Extension Toolkit has been developed as a mechanism for states to begin collaborating around ever better ways to improve quality of care within their primary care practices while improving community health. Its intended audience is broad, including academic health centers, land grant universities, primary care divisions, community hospitals, Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), community health workers, departments of health, or Medicaid agencies, as a method of disseminating a model of health extension.

How is the toolkit presented?

The Health Extension Toolkit is an online resource, and as such, will use various media for conveying information. The information is categorized into modules that fall into six chapters:

Each module will have several topic areas, where brief information will be shared, linking to further information and resources if needed. Each topic area expands, like an accordion, to reveal the information within. As much as possible, multimedia will be used within these areas, including video vignettes, graphics of models and frameworks, and examples of useful materials. Links to these media will also be included at the end of each module, under “Related Literature & Tools”.

After the introduction to each module, key information is shared:

Best Practices: Shares experiences from other states that users can use for learning how health extension is adapted in different regions and under various circumstances.

Key Contact: Rather than have to guess who to contact, each module has a one key person for users to reach in case of questions, comments, or contributions.

Repositories of all the literature, tools, and videos contained on the toolkit are grouped together for easy access under the “Quick Find” tab. You can also access these repositories by clicking the icons below:

Navigate the toolkit by using the tabs along the top menu bar, by using the “breadcrumbs” in the top left corner, or by using the buttons at the bottom of each page, which will take you through the toolkit from beginning to end, or back to the main “home” page:

How can I get technical assistance from experts?

No online resource can answer all questions or address all circumstances. This Health Extension Toolkit will be an online resource and repository of information; however, an incredible amount of bidirectional learning takes place when personal contact is made. A list of experts in heath extension who can provide technical assistance can be found in the “Email an Expert” section of the Toolkit. These experts are available to help you with any questions or concerns around developing health extension in your state. You can also email an expert by using the “Contact Us” feature at the bottom of each page.

Site visits to the states involved in this national movement, to see health extension in action, may also be useful, as can site visits from representatives from these states to your program in your own home state. Please feel free to contact us for more information. Click here to find key contacts for each participating state.

How can I give feedback or contribute content?

The Health Extension Toolkit is a work in progress. Partners in Kansas, Kentucky, and Oregon have been field testing the toolkit, providing feedback, and contributing content as part of their collaboration as the End User Panel of the Toolkit.

Please feel free to provide any feedback, suggestions, questions, or expressions of appreciation through our “Give Feedback” section. If you have useful materials or literature related to Health Extension that you would like included on the site, please send them via our “Contribute Content” section. We look forward to hearing from you!

This is a living, breathing, evolving toolkit, with contributions from those using site that are developing their own approaches to Health Extension.

The Toolkit’s “Health Extension Blog” has posts from users describing their experiences– take a look around and let us know what you think! You can comment on posts as a guest user, or request access to contribute content directly to the blog.

What about a glossary of terms?

An important part of the Health Extension Toolkit is the “Glossary” section. For brevity within the toolkit, many terms and acronyms will not be defined within the narrative, but will rather be linked to a glossary which will have a more extensive explanation, including history and background of the term as applicable. Please let us know if there are any topics, terms, or acronyms that need to be included in the glossary, by using our “Give Feedback” tab. Thank you!

Related Literature & Tools

There are several other key health-related toolkits you may find useful. Click on the links below to access them:

“The Community Tool Box”

“Community Care of North Carolina”


“AHRQ Patient-Centered Medical Home Practice Facilitation Guide”

“National Diabetes Education Program”


“Community Health Worker Toolkit “

“Public Health Primer”


“Community Engaged Scholarship Toolkit”

“Qualis Health Safety Net Medical Home Initiative”



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