Funding aimed at improving COVID-19 services to underserved racial and ethnic minority populations
Wake County Health and Human Services has been awarded a $3.8 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a two-year project to address COVID-19-related health disparities and advance health equity in Wake County. The project will be implemented as part of the Live Well Wake program and will support The Health Impact Collaborative. It will bring together local community-based organizations and Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) in Wake County to support innovative solutions to address health inequities.
“This initiative is a natural extension of our ongoing work to improve equity and the overall health of Wake County through Live Well Wake,” said Sig Hutchinson, a Wake County Board of Commissioners and Co-Chair of Live Well Wake. “This grant will significantly improve our ability to expand our support for COVID-19 prevention and provide access and critical services to our underserved communities.”
Over the next two years, Live Well Wake will work collaboratively with partners to advance health equity, expand support for COVID-19 prevention and improve data collection and reporting.
The Health Impact Collaborative plans to support the following strategies and activities:
- Collaborating with United Way of the Greater Triangle to launch an innovation fund supporting community-based organizations through grants with a focus on social detriments community health needs to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on communities disproportionally impacted by coronavirus;
- Expanding access to diverse community health workers (CHWs) and services with Southeastern Healthcare of NC. This community partner already helps provide boots-on-the-ground COVID-19 vaccine education and relevant health and human services resources in neighborhoods, so that these residents can help make informed decisions and increase health outcomes; and
- Increasing utilization of the expertise and knowledge of HBCU partners, St. Augustine’s University and Shaw University, to inform health equity decisions and lead evaluation design to improve data collection and reporting.
“Wake County Health and Human Services is grateful to receive grant funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support local COVID-19 response and recovery efforts,” said Live Well Wake Program Manager Kimberly Scott. “The initiative will provide critical resources to address disparities among high-risk and underserved populations in our community.”
The announcement of this award comes on the heels of Wake County Health and Human Services learning it was the recipient of a $4 million grant from the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help communities hardest hit by the pandemic better access and understand COVID-19 information and take action to improve their health.
The award, part of the National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, is one of 107 issued to local governments as part of a new, two-year initiative to address COVID-19 related health disparities and advance health equity by expanding health department capacity and services.
About Live Well Wake
Live Well Wake is a program of the Public Health Division of Wake County Health and Human Services which brings together Wake County's major health organizations and community members to address major priorities including transportation, employment, access to care, mental health and substance use disorders, housing and homelessness. Formed out of the Community Health Needs Assessment and Population Health Task Force initiatives, Live Well Wake is a collaborative effort that relies on our community at-large to build partnerships to meet our goal of ensuring collective community wellness. For more information, visit livewellwake.org