The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has awarded more than $266 million in American Rescue Plan funding to grow the community and public health workforce.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to building a robust health workforce to make communities healthy,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "Patients depend on community and public health workers for care and medical information. These investments will equip community and public health workers with the skill sets needed to provide effective community outreach, increase access to care, and assist individuals with critical prevention and treatment services.”
HRSA is awarding $225.5 million to 83 grantees as part of the Community Health Worker Training Program, which is a new multiyear program that will support training and apprenticeship to support an estimated 13,000 new community health workers. Community health workers connect people to care, build trust within communities and facilitate communication between patients and health care providers. They can also be known as promotores de salud, community health advisors, outreach workers, patient navigators and peer counselors.
“As trusted health care messengers, community health workers are essential to connecting individuals from historically underserved communities to health care and helping people stay connected to care and services,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Today’s awards are an important step in expanding the health workforce at a time when people need support accessing care and treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, chronic disease and COVID-19.”
HRSA is also awarding $40.7 million to 29 grantees through the Public Health Scholarship Program, which will incentivize individuals to pursue training and careers in public health, including as epidemiologists and other positions critical to community public health needs. This program will build public health workforce capacity in cities and states across the country.