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Through the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is making nearly $150 million available to community-based healthcare providers to use for COVID-19 response for underserved communities.
The funds will support approximately 100 Health Center Program Look-Alikes, which are community-based healthcare providers that provide essential primary care services to vulnerable populations but which are not Health Center Program grantees.
The centers will use the funds to advance equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination, testing and treatment, and other essential health center services by underserved and vulnerable populations, HHS said.
Grant applications are due Friday, May 14.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT
The funding will support medically underserved populations that rely on these centers for access to care.
The centers may use the funds to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, strengthen vaccination efforts, and enhance healthcare services and infrastructure in communities.
The funding is being made available through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and is part of President Biden's commitment to ensuring equity in the nation's COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts, HHS said.
THE LARGER TREND
In 2019, HRSA Health Center Program Look-Alikes served more than half a million patients. More than 89% live at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and more than 63% are racial or ethnic minorities.
ON THE RECORD
"The Biden administration understands the urgency to get resources directly into communities hit hardest by the pandemic," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, needed aid is coming to vulnerable communities – to help them respond to the pandemic, to increase testing and vaccinations, and to provide critical health services."
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