HHS awards funds to advance health equity through better data collection

August 9, 2022

HHS awards funds to advance health equity through better data collection

MOBILE, Ala. — On Monday during National Health Center Week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $90 million in American Rescue Plan funding to nearly 1,400 Community Health Centers across the country to advance health equity through better data collection and reporting.

Also last Friday, President Biden issued a proclamation on National Health Center Week to recognize the vital role health centers play in safeguarding the well-being of Americans and honor the heroic staff who keep these facilities running. It can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/08/05/a-proclamation-on-national-health-center-week-2022/

The Biden-Harris Administration has been committed to ensuring an equitable pandemic response and recovery, and these awards will help strengthen efforts to eliminate inequities in COVID-19 care and outcomes within communities of color and other underserved populations. The nearly $90 million in funding announced this week also builds on the $7.6 billion invested from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to strengthen the health center workforce, renovate facilities, and equip them with essential COVID-19 medical supplies over the past year.

“We have prioritized advancing equity in our COVID-19 response and throughout all of our work,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Community health centers have played a pivotal role in the nation’s COVID-19 response, and now serve more than 30 million people across the country. Today’s investments will help ensure that all patients have equitable access to the high-quality health care they deserve.”

Funding supports a data modernization effort aimed at better identifying and responding to the specific needs of patients and communities through improved data quality; advancing COVID-19 response, mitigation, and recovery efforts; and helping prepare for future public health emergencies.

HRSA’s initiative is designed to enable health centers to have better data on both patient health status and social determinants of health. With better information, programs can tailor their efforts to improve health outcomes and advance health equity by more precisely targeting the needs of specific communities or patients, particularly as part of the public health emergency response.

Family Health, the primary care division of the Mobile County Health Department, received a portion of the $1,048,000 shared between 16 Community Health Centers in Alabama. Since 1979, Family Health has provided comprehensive primary care to the people of Mobile County regardless of their ability to pay for services. MCHD/FH has 10 permanent service delivery sites in Mobile County and one site in Baldwin County, which are strategically located for maximum population reach and access to care.