CDC awards ADPH over $40M to address COVID-19 disparities

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:08 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded the Alabama Department of Public Health $40,452,096 to address COVID-19-related health disparities.

The funding is part of a $2.25 billion nationwide investment to address health disparities in high-risk and underserved communities.

ADPH says its grant will focus on reducing the burden of COVID-19 among “populations disproportionately affected and who are at higher risk of exposure, infection and hospitalization and mortality.”

ADPH says it will also focus on communities with disproportionate rates of chronic diseases that increase the severity of COVID-19.

State health officials say they have considered the disability populations, ARC region, Black Belt region and minority populations statewide in considering the grant’s resources. They say they believe Alabama’s health rankings and rural areas of the state figured into the CDC’s funding equation.

ADPH says it focused on two strategies in the CDC funding request. One was to increase an improve data collection and reporting for populations experiencing a “disproportionate burden of COVID-19 infection, severe illness, and death” to guide the response to the pandemic.

The other strategy was to build leverage and expand infrastructure support for COVID-19 prevention and control among higher risk and underserved populations.

The state health department says the grant incorporates a testing strategy, several community health worker models, telehealth, local health equity plans and health equity planning on the local level. It also includes data collection that contextualizes racial, ethnic and rural health data, as well as improvements on this data collection and reporting.

ADPH says it cannot release the names of the recipients or their dollar amounts due to the premature status.

“These grants demonstrate our steadfast commitment to keeping equity at the center of everything we do,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky “They are an important step in our unwavering efforts to strengthen our communities’ readiness for public health emergencies—and to helping everyone in America have equal opportunities for health.”

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