HHS to invest additional $785M for hard-hit COVID-19 populations

HHS will invest $785 million in American Rescue Plan funding to bolster COVID-19 response and recovery initiatives in the hardest-hit and vulnerable populations, White House officials said Nov. 10. 

The funding will focus on bolstering equity-focused programs, including initiatives aimed at boosting vaccine confidence. 

"Those funds will support community-based organizations that are continuing to build vaccine confidence across communities of color, rural areas, and low-income populations," Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, chair of the White House's COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, said during a Nov. 19 media briefing. 

Nearly $240 million of the funding will go toward a pipeline program that aims to create a more diverse and sustainable public health workforce in underserved communities. The program will train about 13,000 COVID-19 community health workers, preparing them for long-term careers in public health. 

The funds will also support "tribal communities leading the way in mitigating the spread of the virus" and "protect individuals with disabilities from infection and the ramifications of the pandemic," Dr. Nunez-Smith said. 

For a full breakdown of how the funds will be distributed, click here.

 

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