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PHI’s Communities Rise Awarded $10m for COVID-19 Equity Work from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

PHI and Communities RISE (RISE)—an alliance of partners connected to over 2,400 organizations across the nation—has been awarded a nearly $10 million COVID-19 outreach grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration, to expand outreach to Black, Native American, Latinx, immigrant and migrant, low-income, older adult, and LGBTQ+ populations that are not yet vaccinated.

For Media Inquires Contact:

Brandie Campbell

Email: bcampbell@phi.org
Cell: 510.285.5548

a woman getting a vaccine at a clinic

Secretary Becerra: ‘Building Vaccine Confidence Is Critical to Increasing Vaccinations, Which Remains So Important’

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), today is providing $66.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to eight grantees to expand outreach efforts in 38 states and the District of Columbia to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and vaccinations.

“Building vaccine confidence is critical to increasing vaccinations, which remains so important as we encourage boosters and kids’ vaccinations,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. This investment by the Biden-Harris Administration further expands our progress in partnering with trusted local messengers to deliver needed information on COVID-19 vaccines. This funding will help even more community-based organizations build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine among people in their community who may not have been vaccinated yet.”

With the addition of today’s awards, HHS has provided a total of nearly $390 million to 158 organizations for the Community-based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Program, supporting outreach, events, translation and other enabling services, education, and community health worker support in underserved areas in all 50 states. Many of today’s recipients are continuing to make progress in building vaccine confidence in diverse communities across the country. They are supporting trusted messengers through partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), churches, and local community-based organizations.

“Through this initiative, HRSA is able to support trusted community messengers in their work to help individuals and families get the answers they need to make informed decisions about vaccination,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “These awards will expand the reach of our community-based programs to support vaccination information and outreach.”

Awardees also are engaging communities with access issues, including individuals with developmental and physical disabilities, by using mobile pop-up sites to ensure easy access in the community and accessible vans to transport patients to vaccination appointments.

Examples of local partnerships and activities supported by the Community-based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Program include:

  • Deploying community outreach workers fluent in multiple spoken languages and American Sign Language;
  • Organizing mobile vaccination clinics for farmworkers;
  • Partnering with Black churches to build vaccine confidence; and
  • Implementing culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach campaigns.

The Public Health Institute (PHI) is currently working with Black, Native American, Latinx, Asian-American/Pacific-Islander, immigrant/migrant, and older adult populations with lower incomes in 200 counties as part of HRSA’s $11 million award announced in June 2021. PHI and its partners train vaccine ambassadors and Promotores de Salud (promotoras) to serve as trusted messengers and engage in community conversations, telephone outreach, and social media. Promotoras are Community Health Workers who engage community members, often in Spanish, to provide health-related outreach and education and connect patients to health resources in a linguistically and culturally appropriate way. PHI and COMMUNITIES RISE (RISE)—an alliance of partners connected to over 2,400 organizations across the nation—will use the new HRSA award to expand outreach to Black, Native American, Latinx, immigrant and migrant, low-income, older adult, and LGBTQ+ populations that are not yet vaccinated.

For a list of all of today’s award recipients, see www.hrsa.gov/coronavirus/community-based-outreach.

Communities RISE Together Receives Renewed Federal Award of $10 Million 

RISE Program is Recognized for Supporting Successful National COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach

Oakland, CA- Communities RISE Together (RISE), supported by the Public Health Institute, today received a nearly $10 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The award is part of a $66.5 million American Rescue Plan funding package distributed to eight grantees for their work to expand COVID-19 vaccine outreach efforts in 38 states and the District of Columbia to increase vaccine confidence and vaccinations.

The RISE program works with Black, Native American, Latinx, Asian-American/Pacific-Islander, immigrant/migrant, and older adult populations with lower incomes in 200 counties. By early 2022, RISE had

  • Reached more than 40 million people with vaccine information and outreach.
  • Connected over 195,790 people to essential needs like food and housing assistance.
  • Provided vaccinations to 137,810 people

One aspect of the RISE program’s work is training vaccine ambassadors and Promotores de Salud (promotoras) who serve as trusted messengers and engage in community conversations, telephone outreach, and social media. Promotoras are Community Health Workers who engage community members, often in Spanish, to provide health-related outreach and education and connect patients to health resources in a linguistically and culturally appropriate way. 

RISE was founded in August 2020 by PHI and WE in the World (WE), which convenes the Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network, to advance vaccinations and health equity to more than 25 states and territories with low vaccination rates. RISE partners engage the civic capacity of 2,400 community-based organizations in communities experiencing inequities who reach over 100 million Black, indigenous, Latinx, Asian-Pacific Islander, immigrant and migrant, low-income, older adult, and LGBTQ+ people across the nation.  The program will use the new HRSA award to expand outreach to these communities in areas where many are not yet vaccinated.

“This new grant award is a new milestone achievement in our collective efforts to support our communities in need,” said Rosalinda Natividad of Incite Health, which works with communities to support low-income older adults on behalf of the National Councils on Aging.  

“This renewed support for RISE validates what we know saves lives: trusting local groups who are the trusted messengers in their communities,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, CEO and President of the Public Health Institute. “Our work across 200 counties has shown that one of the best ways to help people get vaccinated is with information and support from local organizations, and by dismantling barriers to vaccination.

RISE’s approach has been about connecting vaccinations with a broader approach to address a community’s well-being.  “By building trust and transforming the underlying conditions in communities that set people up for poor health, we are laying the path for everyone to have a fair chance at good health and a good life” said Somava Saha, MD MS, Executive Lead Well-being and Equity (WE) in the World/WIN Network and co-PI, RISE.

In the agency press release announcing the award package today, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said, “Building vaccine confidence is critical to increasing vaccinations, which remains so important as we encourage boosters and kids’ vaccinations. This investment by the Biden-Harris Administration further expands our progress in partnering with trusted local messengers to deliver needed information on COVID-19 vaccines. This funding will help even more community-based organizations build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine among people in their community who may not have been vaccinated yet.”

Learn more about RISE and RISE partners.

 

RISE partners' logos

Read more about the award from NPR.


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Achieving Vaccine Equity: Resources & Best Practices to Bring Down Barriers

To stop the spread of COVID-19, we must ensure easy, equitable access to vaccines—starting with communities that are made most vulnerable due to systemic inequities. Find tools, resources and best practices to support vaccine equity in your community.

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