$225 Million in Training Grants Awarded Today; American Rescue Plan Investments for Community Health Workforce Total Over $1.1 Billion
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is awarding $225 million in American Rescue Plan funds to train over 13,000 Community Health Workers (CHWs). In response to the acute need to expand the health care workforce and address pandemic-related burnout, the American Rescue Plan provided historic investments. Among these investments, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provided a total of over $1.1 billion for community health, outreach, and health education workers—the largest ever one-time investment in the nation’s community health workforce. These investments are expected to deploy over 40,000 people in community health, outreach, and health education roles over the coming years. This investment will build on the roughly 50,000 CHWs who were already working in American communities before the pandemic.
CHWs are an evidence-based, cost-effective public health workforce to improve population health and strengthen health systems. Particularly for underserved communities, CHWs, as well as outreach and health education workers, serve as trusted messengers and advocates helping to facilitate communication between individuals and health care providers. They also play a key role in addressing pre-existing health inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic.
President Biden understands the importance of investing in a modern public health workforce, and his Administration continues to deliver on his campaign promise to expand the community health workforce. Although there is more work to do to secure and build upon this progress, the American Rescue Plan strengthened our public health system during the pandemic and is building capacity for the future.
Today’s announcement builds on other critical American Rescue Plan investments in our community health workforce, including:
- Rapid deployment of over 14,000 community outreach workers (including CHWs) through over 150 national and local organizations to deepen COVID-19 vaccine confidence, increase vaccination rates, and serve as trusted messengers in underserved communities. Examples include:
- The Association of Asian/Pacific Community Health Organizations used American Rescue Plan funds to establish the CHW Workforce Collaborative (the Collaborative). The Collaborative has since hired, trained, and deployed more than 250 CHWs who speak over 36 Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander languages in 12 continental U.S. states and Hawaii.
- The Communities RISE Together initiative, supported by WE in the World and the Public Health Institute, is using American Rescue Plan funding to recruit, hire, and train CHWs to work with Black, 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 promotors to serve as trusted messengers and connect community members with vaccines and well-being needs, while working to address underlying drivers of health inequities.
- Jurisdictions …….