HHS Office of Minority Health Will Offer Localities Funding to Partner with Community Organizations to Connect Minority, Underserved Populations with Vital Services, Promote Pandemic Safety Measures
As part of President Biden’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, the Administration recently announced an effort to invest $250 million to encourage COVID-19 safety and vaccination among underserved populations.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) will offer the funding as health literacy grants to localities, who will partner with community-based organizations, to reach racial and ethnic minority, rural and other vulnerable populations. The new initiative is expected to fund approximately 30 projects in urban communities and 43 projects in rural communities for two years. Cities, counties, parishes or other similar subdivisions may apply for the funding.
The cities and communities that receive funding will be required to
- develop a disparity impact statement using local data to identify racial and ethnic minority populations at highest risk for health disparities, low health literacy, and not being engaged or reached through existing public health messages and approaches for promoting COVID-19 public health recommendations.
- create and operationalize a health literacy plan,
- partner with community-based organizations
- adhere to culturally and linguistically appropriate standards,
- increase the availability, acceptability and use of COVID-19 public health information and services by racial and ethnic minority populations and others considered vulnerable for not receiving and using COVID-19 public health information.
“Information is power, especially the ability to understand and use information to support better health. Whether it helps us understand where to get tested or the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, information is a crucial part of keeping families and communities safe,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Health RADM Felicia Collins, MD. “Nowhere is this more important than in communities hit hardest by the pandemic, especially racial and ethnic minority communities and other vulnerable populations.”