CDC Announces $2.25 Billion to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities in Underserved Communities

CDC
A sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. [Associated Press]

On March 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a plan to invest $2.25 billion over two years to address COVID-19-related health disparities and advance health equity among populations that are at high-risk and underserved.

This funding represents CDC’s largest investment to date to support communities affected by COVID-19-related health disparities.

CDC’s new National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved Communities, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities, will offer grants to public health departments to improve testing and contact tracing capabilities; develop innovative mitigation and prevention resources and services; improve data collection and reporting; build, leverage, and expand infrastructure support; and mobilize partners and collaborators to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19.

“Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to be as healthy as possible,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH.

“This investment will be monumental in anchoring equity at the center of our nation’s COVID-19 response—and is a key step forward in bringing resources and focus to health inequities that have for far too long persisted in our country.”

Data show that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected some populations and placed them at higher risk, including those who are medically underserved, racial and ethnic minority groups, and people living in rural communities.

These groups may experience a higher risk of exposure, infection, hospitalization, and mortality.

In addition, evidence shows that racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural communities have disproportionate rates of chronic diseases that can increase the risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 and may also encounter barriers to testing, treatment, or vaccination.

This initiative is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021, (P.L. 116-260) and is expected to award funding to up to 108 state, local, territorial, and freely associated state health departments, or their bona fide agents.

CDC will be accepting applications for this initiative through April 30, 2021.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here