BETHESDA, Md., June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is working in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fight COVID-19 in hard-to-reach populations through Community Health Centers with the help of $18.3 million in CDC pandemic cooperative agreement funding. The funds will help build health centers’ success in ensuring equity and access in the COVID-19 response and vaccination program. Health centers have administered more than 10 million vaccine doses and increased the number of vaccines they initiate each week by almost five-fold since January. More than 80 percent of the shots initiated have gone to people of color.
Health centers are the safety net to the highest-risk patients and often serve as first responders to emergencies such as hurricanes, fires, and public health crises. The CDC funding will help engage local health centers, health center controlled networks (HCCNs) and primary care associations as trusted brokers to build the evidence base of effective interventions among diverse populations including homeless, mobile, rural, refugee, behavioral health, LGBTQ, farmworker, non-English speaking, and immigrant patients. It will also help mobilize vaccine strike teams to reach hesitant populations in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Border States. NACHC is an ideal stakeholder in the partnership with CDC as the voice for health centers and an organizational leader that provided critical resources, technical assistance and training to help guide health centers through the uncertainty of the pandemic.