Press Release

PHI’s Communities RISE Together program featured at White House Summit on American Rescue Plan and Workforce

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Brandie Campbell

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Zoom – On Wednesday, July 13th, from 11am – 1pm ET, the public is invited to join a virtual White House Summit on the American Rescue Plan and the Workforce. Somava Saha, MD, director of Public Health Institute’s Communities RISE Together initiative, will join the summit at noon to speak about the important role of community health workers as a part of the public health workforce.

The event will take place on Zoom, and includes Vice President Kamala Harris and other speakers. It is hosted by the White House American Rescue Plan Implementation Team and the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Dr. Soma Saha

Dr. Somava Saha , Director of Communities RISE Together, an initiative facilitated by the Public Health Institute and WE in the World, joins the White House Workforce Development Summit, June 2022, to discuss the Communities RISE Together initiative.

During the summit, state and local leaders across the country will be highlighting different models of American Rescue Plan investments in workforce development in the areas of care and public health, infrastructure and expanding the workforce. The American Rescue Plan provides critical funding to help support children, families and communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which have been exacerbated by a long history of health inequities and racial injustices.

Dr. Saha will also discuss how Communities RISE Together partners are using American Rescue Plan funding to recruit, hire and train community health workers to work with African American, Native American, Latinx, Asian American/Pacific Islander, immigrant/migrant, and low-income older adult populations in 200+ counties across the country.

RISE partners train and engage vaccine ambassadors and Promotoras to serve as trusted messengers and connect community members with vaccines and critical resources, while working to address the underlying drivers that are creating gaps in health.  Together, they’ve reached over 44 million people through trusted, often non-traditional messengers and channels, and connected more than 200,000 community members to vaccines and supports like food, rental assistance and social connection.


This agenda may be subject to change.

11:00 am: Opening remarks from Vice President Kamala Harris, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Senior Advisor to the President and White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling, and Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Rodriguez

11:10 am: Perspectives from the States — Featuring Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

11:30 am: Infrastructure Jobs, with a special focus on Pre-Apprenticeships — Featuring DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Louisville (KY) Mayor Greg Fischer, Los Angeles County (CA) Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Franklin County (OH) Commissioner John O’Grady, and NABTU Special Assistant to the President Melissa Wells

12:00 pm: Care and the Public Health Workforce — Featuring Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration Carole Johnson, Ramsey County (MN) Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire, Erie (NY) County Executive Mark Poloncarz, and Manchester (NH) Mayor Joyce Craig, Director of the Communities RISE Together Initiative at the Public Health Institute Dr. Somava Saha, and SEIU Secretary-Treasurer April Verrett

12:40 pm: Expanding Access to the Workforce for Underserved Populations — Featuring Harris County (TX) Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Memphis (TN) Mayor Jim Strickland, Employ Milwaukee CEO Chytania Brown, and WRTP Big Step President Lindsay Blumer


Partners in Communities RISE Together include CHROMATIC BLACK, the Center for Popular Democracy, the Hawai’i Public Health Institute, Latino Health Access, the Migrant Clinicians Network, Meals on Wheels America, National Councils on Aging, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the National Indian Health Board, the Public Health Institute’s Center to Advance Community Health and Equity, and WE in the World/WIN Network.  

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