DHS Announces Multiple Funding Opportunities to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities
FROM THE WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
Today, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced funds will be made available to promote racial and geographic equity in the COVID-19 response. DHS was awarded $27 million by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to combat inequities related to COVID-19 infection, illness, and death, including $9 million dedicated to rural communities. In a separate appropriation, an additional $13 million in funding has been set aside to continue the Vaccine Community Outreach grant program, which funds organizations across Wisconsin to increase vaccinations by serving as trusted messengers within their communities, build vaccine confidence, and reduce barriers that hinder vaccine access for marginalized or underserved populations.
“Communities of color are bearing the brunt of this pandemic, which has exacerbated existing health disparities in Wisconsin,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Racism and systemic barriers, including lack of access to quality health care, job opportunities, housing, and transportation, have made these Wisconsinites more vulnerable to COVID-19. With these investments in our communities, we can support a just recovery, and address the broader structures and conditions that promote health so that everyone in our state has an opportunity to thrive.”