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, particularly in medically underserved areas. Award recipients will need to clearly describe how 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. This program will focus on providing resources to local and/or regional community-based organizations (CBOs). CBO applicants may engage as individual organizations or create a network of multiple eligible organizations partnering together to complete program activities (i.e. one award recipient with multiple subrecipient organizations). Partnering organizations may include entities such as: • Community-based organizations (including faith-based organizations, social service organizations) • Local chapters of national associations • Local health departments • Health centers and other community-based health providers • Minority-serving organizations or 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 Grant recipients and subrecipients must comply with HHS grant regulations and HHS and HRSA policies as well as the terms and conditions of the award.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit private or public organizations, including local and/or regional community-based organizations (CBOs), with demonstrated experience in implementing public health programs, particularly in medically underserved areas. This includes Tribes and Tribal organizations.
Applicants may engage as individual organizations or create a partnership of organizations with the capacity to complete program activities (i.e. one award recipient with one or multiple subrecipient organizations). Program activities include hiring community outreach workers from the vulnerable and medically underserved communities they will serve and reaching out to these communities; 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 need (see Section IV.7).