Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $35 million in federal funding to establish the NYC Public Health Corps (PHC), an innovative initiative to bolster the city’s public and community health infrastructure and address COVID-19 public health challenges, including equitable vaccine distribution and administration. The funding was allocated through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will be used to invest in community health throughout New York City and prepare the city for future health crises.
“New York City was hit early and hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As we continue to recover, this funding will invest in the city’s most underserved communities and help ensure that community health workers have the resources they need to prevent, treat, and vaccinate against COVID-19 and address a variety of other community health needs. I am proud to have fought for Health Force funding to help New York City lead the country in establishing the first national public health force and will continue fighting for similar programs nationwide.”
In early 2021, Senator Gillibrand introduced the Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act, a public health jobs program to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and successfully negotiated its inclusion in the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan included $7.66 billion for a new public health workforce based on Gillibrand’s “Health Force” legislation to expand the nation’s public health jobs and infrastructure and aid the country’s vaccine distribution campaign.
The NYC Public Health Corps, New York City’s new local Health Force, will give grants to community-based organizations to build Community Health Worker (CHW) teams to increase access to COVID-19 prevention, treatment and vaccination services in areas most impacted by the pandemic; fund FQHCs to increase access to primary care services and COVID-19 vaccinations in communities with less healthcare infrastructure; and place community health workers in NYC Health + Hospitals out-patient clinical sites to address patients’ social needs, like food, income, and housing.