FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Announces New Investments to Support COVID-19 Response and Recovery Efforts in Hardest-Affected and High-Risk Communities and Populations as COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Files Final Report – Community News

FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Announces New Investments to Support COVID-19 Response and Recovery Efforts in Hardest-Affected and High-Risk Communities and Populations as COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Files Final Report

Over the past ten months, we have made tremendous strides in our efforts to protect and rebuild the hardest-hit and most at-risk communities. Deaths have decreased by nearly 90% in black, brown and indigenous communities. The gap in vaccination coverage between black and Latino/Hispanic adults and white adults has been closed. Nearly 100% of schools are open to in-person instruction, giving students more equal access to academic resources and helping parents return to work.

We know that our work to close the gap in how communities of color are experiencing the pandemic is not done. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announces $785 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support community organizations in building vaccine confidence in communities of color, rural areas and low-income populations; strengthen the efforts of tribal communities who are leading the way in curbing the spread of the virus; expand the capacity of public health systems to respond to the needs of people with disabilities and older adults most at risk of infection or death from COVID-19; and continue our mission to build a more diverse and sustainable public health workforce, including a new internship program that will educate thousands of our COVID-19 community health professionals and prepare them for long-term careers in public health. This funding builds on the significant investments we have made in equity-focused programs and initiatives since we took office.

These investments also respond directly to the recommendations of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which delivered its final report to the White House Office of COVID-19 Response today. President Biden and Vice President Harris created this task force on their first full day in office and took the historic and innovative step of appointing community activists, advocates, experts and leaders who have now formulated a series of recommendations that will continue to inform our public health in the coming years and decades.

The Biden-Harris administration’s action to prioritize equality in the COVID-19 response has the potential to be transformative for health equality in the United States. More than 80 percent of the Task Force’s recommendations have already been met, and the government is committed to embedding the Task Force’s recommendations into the landmark initiatives and programs we continue to develop to promote and promote equality within the federal government. preserve.

Today’s $785 million funding announcement is an important step toward that long-term effort. specifically:

  • Nearly $240 million to expand the public health workforce by creating a pipeline program for 13,000 community health professionals and paraprofessionals Communities. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will invest nearly $240 million in a new program focused on education and on-the-job training to expand the pipeline of health professionals in the most disadvantaged communities. This effort will support internship programs at more than 500 national health and public health locations, including emergency departments, health centers, state and local public health departments, community health centers, mobile health clinics, shelters, housing programs, faith-based organizations and other locations where at-risk groups have access to care. and receive services. Over the past 10 months, the government has made historic investments in community health workers who have championed critical vaccine achievement, building vaccine confidence in our hardest hit and most at risk communities during the pandemic. These individuals are hired from the communities they serve, resulting in a diverse corps of people who are typically underrepresented in our public health workforce.
  • $210 million to build preparedness in tribal communities, support school nurses at the Bureau of Indian Education and expand the public health workforce in the Indian health service and in indigenous communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the pre-existing inequalities facing tribal nations. The Indian Health Service (IHS) is investing $92 million to hire school nurses who can provide critical testing, contact tracing, case management, vaccination and general school health support to Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) K-12 schools; $67 million to increase public health capacity and build better emergency preparedness for IHS and Tribal Nations; $45 million to expand loan repayment and support IHS’s ability to recruit and retain highly skilled health professionals in IHS, tribal and urban Indian health programs; and $6 million to support nuclear surveillance and epidemiological work for the American Indians and Native Americans of Alaska.
  • $150 million to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities and older adults in response to and recovery from the virus and to improve their health and access to services in the future. The Administration for Community Living at HHS is investing $150 million for its disability and aging networks to increase the public health workforce with disabilities and aging expertise and to partner with public health systems to improve the health and safety of people with disabilities and older adults who are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, disproportionately experience the effects of social isolation, and require services and support to maintain independence, especially during emergencies and disasters.
  • Over $140 million to continue supporting community-based organizations leading the way in high-touch, impactful vaccination outreach to high-risk communities. HRSA will award an additional $66.5 million as part of the Community Organization’s (CBO) Vaccine Outreach Initiative, launched in May. Participating organizations report that this funding has been essential in enabling CBOs to hire local community workers to train individuals, provide resources and address barriers to vaccination in underserved communities. Applicants for this new funding will focus on serving the most vulnerable populations, including pregnant people, in key states with lower vaccination rates. HRSA will also invest an additional $77 million for additional CBOs to hire community workers for vaccine advocacy and other efforts to build confidence in vaccines.
  • $35 million to CDC to improve diversity in the public health population and enhance capacity to respond to the needs of underserved communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investing $35 million to expand recruitment and pipeline program activities to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the public health workforce and increase awareness and interest in public health among underrepresented groups, among others. more through the Science Ambassadors program that includes middle and high school students and CDC’s Undergraduate Public Health Scholars (CUPS) program for undergraduate students.