HHS Announces Awardees of $250 Million to Fight COVID-19 and Improve Health Literacy Among Racial and Ethnic Minority and Vulnerable Communities

Monday, June 28, 2021
Contact: Contact: OASH Press Office

HHS Announces Awardees of $250 Million to Fight COVID-19 and Improve Health Literacy Among Racial and Ethnic Minority and Vulnerable Communities

73 Local Governments Receive Awards

Washington, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced $250 million in grant awards to 73 local governments as part of a new, two-year initiative to identify and implement best practices for improving health literacy to enhance COVID-19 vaccination and other mitigation practices among underserved populations. The Advancing Health Literacy (AHL) to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 initiative is part of the Biden/Harris Administration’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness.

“The Advancing Health Literacy initiative is a vital part of the HHS efforts to help communities hardest hit by the pandemic access and understand COVID-related information,” said Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Rachel L. Levine, M.D. “This funding, and the partnerships with local and community entities across the country, will help our national efforts to continue to tackle health disparities surrounding COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment.”

Health literacy is a person’s ability to find, understand and use information and services to help them make health-related decisions for themselves and others. Health literacy is a central focus of the Healthy People 2030 blueprint for improving the health of the nation, which is sponsored by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. Healthy People 2030 has elevated health literacy within one of its overarching goals: Eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all.

“COVID-19 highlights the importance of health literacy, of understanding public health measures and taking steps to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, RADM Felicia Collins, M.D. “Our new health literacy initiative will help local governments enhance their health literacy efforts to reduce COVID-related disparities within racial and ethnic minority populations and other vulnerable communities.”

Over the next two years, awardee projects will demonstrate the effectiveness of working with local community-based organizations to develop health literacy plans to increase the availability, acceptability, and use of COVID-19 public health information and services by racial and ethnic minority populations. The projects will also focus on other populations considered vulnerable for not receiving and using COVID-19 public health information. Recipients are also expected to leverage local data to identify racial and ethnic minority populations at the highest risk for health disparities and low health literacy, as well as populations not currently reached through existing public health campaigns.

The initiative is expected to begin on July 1.

The awardees are:

City of MontgomeryMontgomeryAL$3,900,000
City of TuskegeeTuskegeeAL$3,000,000
Town of Fort DepositFort DepositAL$2,992,292
Benton CountyBentonvilleAR$3,900,000
City of Pine BluffPine BluffAR$1,240,411
Gila CountyGlobeAZ$2,571,740
Maricopa CountyPhoenixAZ$4,000,000
Pima CountyTucsonAZ$4,000,000
Yuma CountyYumaAZ$2,073,177
Alameda County Health Care ServicesSan LeandroCA$1,994,565
City of Chula VistaChula VistaCA$4,000,000
City of FresnoFresnoCA$4,000,000
City of Santa AnaSanta AnaCA$4,000,000
Fresno County Department of Public HealthFresnoCA$3,000,000
Monterey County Health DepartmentSalinasCA$3,952,437
Eagle County Public Health & EnvironmentEagleCO$2,999,970
City of WaterburyWaterburyCT$4,000,000
New Haven Health DepartmentNew HavenCT$4,000,000
District of Columbia Department of HealthWashingtonDC$3,999,923
Broward CountyFort LauderdaleFL$3,875,000
City of JacksonvilleJacksonvilleFL$3,295,342
City of LauderhillLauderhillFL$3,875,000
City of AlbanyAlbanyGA$3,900,000
Clayton CountyJonesboroGA$2,000,000
Fulton CountyAtlantaGA$3,900,000
Hawaii CountyHiloHI$3,000,000
Chicago Department of Public HealthChicagoIL$3,894,914
City of RockfordRockfordIL$3,614,521
Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion CountyIndianapolisIN$2,861,449
City Of WichitaWichitaKS$4,000,000
City of Baton RougeBaton RougeLA$4,000,000
City of New OrleansNew OrleansLA$3,900,000
Boston Public Health CommissionBostonMA$3,875,000
Baltimore City Health DepartmentBaltimoreMD$4,000,000
City of FrederickFrederickMD$3,939,842
Prince Georges CountyUpper MarlboroMD$3,999,807
Kent CountyGrand RapidsMI$2,089,233
Wayne CountyDetroitMI$3,919,116
City of MinneapolisMinneapolisMN$2,040,000
Kansas City Health DepartmentKansas CityMO$2,847,052
City of VicksburgVicksburgMS$3,000,000
Town of InvernessInvernessMS$3,000,000
Washington CountyGreenvilleMS$2,999,992
Durham CountyDurhamNC$2,000,000
Mecklenburg County Health DepartmentCharlotteNC$3,900,000
Wake County Human ServicesRaleighNC$4,000,000
City of LincolnLincolnNE$3,526,006
City of NewarkNewarkNJ$3,875,000
City of PatersonPatersonNJ$4,000,000
Bernalillo CountyAlbuquerqueNM$2,092,836
City of AlbuquerqueAlbuquerqueNM$3,950,810
Doña Ana CountyLas CrucesNM$2,460,636
City of Las VegasLas VegasNV$1,670,000
New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew York CityNY$3,875,000
Orange CountyGoshenNY$800,000
Westchester County Department of HealthWhite PlainsNY$3,763,565
Franklin CountyColumbusOH$3,999,169
Oklahoma City County Health DepartmentOklahoma CityOK$3,900,000
Washington CountyHillsboroOR$3,998,575
City of ReadingReadingPA$3,999,382
Rhode Island Public Health FoundationProvidenceRI$2,008,508
City of Rock HillRock HillSC$3,875,000
City of ChattanoogaChattanoogaTN$3,404,247
City of MemphisMemphisTN$3,900,000
Shelby CountyMemphisTN$3,955,982
Dallas CountyDallasTX$4,000,000
San Antonio Metropolitan Health DistrictSan AntonioTX$3,999,933
Salt Lake CountySalt Lake CityUT$3,844,568
City of RichmondRichmondVA$4,000,000
Fairfax CountyFairfaxVA$3,875,000
Public Health Seattle & King CountySeattleWA$3,875,000
Snohomish Health DistrictEverettWA$4,000,000
City of MilwaukeeMilwaukeeWI$4,000,000
Total $250,000,000

For more information about OMH, visit www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides public health and science advice to the Secretary and oversees the Department’s broad-ranging public health offices, whose missions include minority health, HIV policy, women’s health, disease prevention, human research protections, and others. OASH also includes the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.