HealthDay News —The U.S. government will invest $266 million to shore up the community and public health workforce using American Rescue Plan funding.
About $225.5 million will go to 83 recipients to support training and apprenticeship for 13,000 new community health workers, CNN reported before Friday’s announcement. These workers specialize in helping people find care and serve as a contact point between patients and providers.
“Thirty million people in America get their health care through community health centers that treat people regardless of their ability to pay,” Carole Johnson, administrator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, which is facilitating the grants, told CNN. “Time and time again, we have seen community health workers make the difference when it comes to reaching out in communities and getting people engaged in care and then helping people stay connected to care.”
In all, the rescue plan is allotting $1.1 billion in funding for community health, outreach, and health education workers. The largest grants will be $3 million and will go to 30 of the 83 recipients.
Another $40.7 million will be sent to 29 schools to encourage public health training and employment as part of the Public Health Scholarship Program. The funding is vital as workers have left amid backlash and burnout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies, such as record-high drug overdose deaths, the monkeypox outbreak, and now the reemergence of polio, the news agency noted.