The purpose of the program is to establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. This includes mobilizing community outreach workers, which includes community health workers, patient navigators, and social support specialists, to educate and assist individuals in accessing and receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. This includes activities such as conducting face-to-face outreach and reaching out directly to community members to educate them about the vaccine, assisting individuals in making a vaccine appointment, providing resources to find convenient vaccine locations, assisting individuals with transportation or other needs to get to a vaccination site. The program intends to address persistent health disparities by offering support and resources to vulnerable and medically underserved communities, including racial and ethnic minority groups and individuals living in areas of high social vulnerability.
HRSA will fund recipients that have demonstrated experience and expertise in implementing public health programs across broad geographic areas in order to ensure that services will be provided to vulnerable and medically underserved areas across the nation (see data sources in Section IV.7 to identify target populations). This approach will require award recipients to have the relationships and capacity necessary to engage at multiple levels, including with national, regional, state and/or local organizations. Award recipients should propose a multi-state or multi-regional approach based on their capability to administer the program. In addition, award recipients will need to demonstrate that they have the infrastructure set up to implement a program of this scale quickly; clearly describe how they will ensure that the funding will directly serve and impact vulnerable communities; and demonstrate how they will prioritize hiring individuals from the communities they will serve by providing outreach, education and assistance related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Award recipients will need to engage with multiple organizations, and should have existing relationships or the capacity to quickly form new relationships with regional and/or local community organizations. This may include entities such as:
• Community-based organizations (including faith-based organizations, social service organizations)
• Regional, state and local chapters of national associations
• Regional commissions
• Regional and local health departments
• Health centers and other community-based health providers
• Minority-serving institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic serving institutions, and Asian American and Pacific Islander serving institutions
• Tribes and Tribal Organizations
• Philanthropic Organizations
• Local municipal entities, such as fire and EMS departments
• Social service providers (e.g. food banks, community transportation, childcare)
• Community Action Coalitions, Chambers of Commerce, Health Equity Councils, and other community groups
Eligible applicants include nonprofit private or public organizations with demonstrated experience in implementing public health programs and established relationships with such State, territorial, or local public health departments, particularly in medically underserved areas. This includes Tribes and Tribal organizations as well.
Applicants should have demonstrated experience and expertise in implementing public health programs across broad geographic areas. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the ability to provide services to areas and populations not being reached by current COVID-19 vaccination and response efforts. Applicants are expected to have, and should be able to clearly describe the partnerships they have formed at both the regional and local level to directly assist individuals in getting the COVID-19 vaccine. These partnerships should include organizations such as community-based organizations and other health and social service organizations that can directly hire community outreach workers from the vulnerable and medically underserved communities they will serve and can reach out to these communities across the country; specifically the areas or populations with low vaccination rates to date. Applicants should use recent, relevant data sources to identify counties and target populations of high social vulnerability (see Section IV.7). Applicants should propose a multi-state or multi-regional approach with strong local partnerships.
Fraser Byrne, MPA