Resources to Support COVID-19 Response of Health Centers in Disproportionately Affected Communities Across the Country
As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $144 million in American Rescue Plan funding to 102 HRSA Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and enhance health care services and infrastructure in communities across the country. LALs are community-based health care providers that provide essential primary health care services to underserved communities and vulnerable populations but do not otherwise receive HRSA Health Center Program funding.
“The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to ensuring our country’s most vulnerable communities get the resources they need and can access the quality health care they deserve,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Health Center Program look-alikes are key players in the Administration’s efforts to address health inequities and support those disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”
These American Rescue Plan awards will support communities that rely on LALs for access to critical health care services and are often disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Using these funds, LALs will mitigate the spread of COVID-19, strengthen vaccination efforts, and enhance health care services and infrastructure in communities across the country. In 2019, HRSA Health Center Program LALs served more than half a million patients. Currently, more than 89 percent of LAL patients live at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (a family of four making $26,500 or less per year), and more than 63 percent are racial or ethnic minorities.
“HRSA remains committed to addressing the needs of vulnerable populations,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa. “These awards provide much-needed support to address ever-evolving COVID-19 circumstances and community needs. They build on existing efforts—across the federal government and the nation—to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and treatment.”