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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:

Grantees City State Award
City of Montgomery Montgomery AL $3,900,000
City of Tuskegee Tuskegee AL $3,000,000
Town of Fort Deposit Fort Deposit AL $2,992,292
Benton County Bentonville AR $3,900,000
City of Pine Bluff Pine Bluff AR $1,240,411
Gila County Globe AZ $2,571,740
Maricopa County Phoenix AZ $4,000,000
Pima County Tucson AZ $4,000,000
Yuma County Yuma AZ $2,073,177
Alameda County Health Care Services San Leandro CA $1,994,565
City of Chula Vista Chula Vista CA $4,000,000
City of Fresno Fresno CA $4,000,000
City of Santa Ana Santa Ana CA $4,000,000
Fresno County Department of Public Health Fresno CA $3,000,000
Monterey County Health Department Salinas CA $3,952,437
Eagle County Public Health & Environment Eagle CO $2,999,970
City of Waterbury Waterbury CT $4,000,000
New Haven Health Department New Haven CT $4,000,000
District of Columbia Department of Health Washington DC $3,999,923
Broward County Fort Lauderdale FL $3,875,000
City of Jacksonville Jacksonville FL $3,295,342
City of Lauderhill Lauderhill FL $3,875,000
City of Albany Albany GA $3,900,000
Clayton County Jonesboro GA $2,000,000
Fulton County Atlanta GA $3,900,000
Hawaii County Hilo HI $3,000,000
Chicago Department of Public Health Chicago IL $3,894,914
City of Rockford Rockford IL $3,614,521
Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County Indianapolis IN $2,861,449
City Of Wichita Wichita KS $4,000,000
City of Baton Rouge Baton Rouge LA $4,000,000
City of New Orleans New Orleans LA $3,900,000
Boston Public Health Commission Boston MA $3,875,000
Baltimore City Health Department Baltimore MD $4,000,000
City of Frederick Frederick MD $3,939,842
Prince Georges County Upper Marlboro MD $3,999,807
Kent County Grand Rapids MI $2,089,233
Wayne County Detroit MI $3,919,116
City of Minneapolis Minneapolis MN $2,040,000
Kansas City Health Department Kansas City MO $2,847,052
City of Vicksburg Vicksburg MS $3,000,000
Town of Inverness Inverness MS $3,000,000
Washington County Greenville MS $2,999,992
Durham County Durham NC $2,000,000
Mecklenburg County Health Department Charlotte NC $3,900,000
Wake County Human Services Raleigh NC $4,000,000
City of Lincoln Lincoln NE $3,526,006
City of Newark Newark NJ $3,875,000
City of Paterson Paterson NJ $4,000,000
Bernalillo County Albuquerque NM $2,092,836
City of Albuquerque Albuquerque NM $3,950,810
Doña Ana County Las Cruces NM $2,460,636
City of Las Vegas Las Vegas NV $1,670,000
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene New York City NY $3,875,000
Orange County Goshen NY $800,000
Westchester County Department of Health White Plains NY $3,763,565
Franklin County Columbus OH $3,999,169
Oklahoma City County Health Department Oklahoma City OK $3,900,000
Washington County Hillsboro OR $3,998,575
City of Reading Reading PA $3,999,382
Rhode Island Public Health Foundation Providence RI $2,008,508
City of Rock Hill Rock Hill SC $3,875,000
City of Chattanooga Chattanooga TN $3,404,247
City of Memphis Memphis TN $3,900,000
Shelby County Memphis TN $3,955,982
Dallas County Dallas TX $4,000,000
San Antonio Metropolitan Health District San Antonio TX $3,999,933
Salt Lake County Salt Lake City UT $3,844,568
City of Richmond Richmond VA $4,000,000
Fairfax County Fairfax VA $3,875,000
Public Health Seattle & King County Seattle WA $3,875,000
Snohomish Health District Everett WA $4,000,000
City of Milwaukee Milwaukee WI $4,000,000
Total $250,000,000

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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.

8/22/2021 11:52:00 AM