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  • Health Department receives $6.5M to improve health disparities in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

    Jun 22, 2021 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to accept a $6.5 million grant over the next two years that will support the Health Department’s ongoing work to identify and improve public health equity in Pima County.
    Abrams Public Health Center
    The award, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be used to build upon and increase the resources and services created by the County to reduce COVID-19 related disparities now and into the future.

    The funding will also support improvements to data collection and reporting for populations experiencing a disproportionate burden of COVID-19, and it will help mobilize community partners to advance health equity and address social determinants of health.

    About 20 new positions within the Health Department will be created to focus on the success of this initiative, with funding lasting until June 30, 2023.

    “One of the most impactful changes to our society that has come from this pandemic has been the overwhelming focus it has put on the racial, ethnic, and income inequalities that impact public health across this country,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, Health Department Director.

    “Our efforts to recover from COVID-19 must be focused on responding to and improving the disparities the pandemic has highlighted. This funding is a welcome and much-needed piece of this work.”

    In December 2020, the Pima County Board of Supervisors passed resolution 2020-92, declaring racial and ethnic health inequities and income inequality in Pima County to be a public health crisis.

    In a December 1, 2020, memo to the Board, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote, “with public health agencies at the forefront of this (COVID-19) response we have a unique opportunity to refocus our public health agency and provide the necessary resources to address long standing public health disparities, as well as improve readiness for future public health emergencies.”