HHS Awards $73 Million to Expand Public Health Worker Training


September 22, 2021 2:48 pm

The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday it will distribute $73 million to train public health workers from underrepresented communities and improve Covid-19 data collection.

The goal is to providing training in public health informatics and technology to more than 4,000 health workers over the next four years, the agency said in a statement.

Recipients of the funds include historically black colleges and universities, as well as colleges and universities enrolling high numbers of students who are Hispanic, Asian-American or Pacific Islanders.

The HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology will administer the program with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“While we work to tackle the pandemic, we won’t take our foot off the gas when it comes to preparing for any future public health challenges,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the statement. “Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we can invest in growing our nation’s public health workforce today to better meet the needs of tomorrow.”

Funding recipients will work together to develop curricula, recruit and train participants, secure paid internship opportunities, and assist in career placement at public health agencies and public health-focused organizations, according to the statement.

The program supports the Biden administration’s efforts to “hire public health workers from the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities, as well as ensure a steady stream of diverse talent across the U.S. public health system to equip our nation for future public health emergencies,” the agency said.

The recipients are Bowie State University, California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation, Dominican College of Blauvelt Inc., Jackson State University, Norfolk State University, Regents of the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, University of Massachusetts at Lowell, University of California at Irvine, and the University of the District of Columbia.