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Request for Applications: Building Local Operational Capacity for COVID-19, Healthcare-Associated Infections, and Antimicrobial Resistance

Oct 08, 2021 | Christina Baum, Jaclyn Abramson, Zachary Smith

NACCHO, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, is excited to announce a new funding opportunity for local health departments (LHDs) to enhance their capacity to prevent and respond to COVID-19 and other healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial resistant (AR) threats. The Building Local Operational Capacity for COVID-19, Healthcare-Associated Infections, and Antimicrobial Resistance (BLOC COVID-19 +) project continues and expands upon the first year of the BLOC COVID-19 Demonstration Site project by allowing LHDs to go beyond COVID-19 response and address other HAIs and AR pathogens.

The goals of the BLOC COVID-19 + project are to:

  • Strengthen relationships between LHDs and facilities and partners;
  • Enhance LHD capacity and confidence in assessing and supporting infection prevention and control (IPC) practices in high-risk facilities;
  • Improve implementation of IPC in high-risk facilities; and
  • Decrease rates of and negative outcomes associated with COVID-19, HAIs, and AR pathogens in those facilities.

The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at 5:00 pm PT. NACCHO will share notice of award with LHDs by Friday, December 17, 2021. NACCHO will issue awards to LHDs in the form of fixed-price contracts. LHDs that elect to complete the required activities may receive up to $70,000; LHDs that elect to conduct the required and supplemental activities may receive an additional $30,000, for a total of up to $100,000.

Eligibility requirements

LHDs that apply for the BLOC COVID-19 + project should meet the following requirements:

  • Interest in addressing COVID-19 and other HAI- and AR-related threats through IPC activities at high-risk facilities in their jurisdiction, particularly those that serve people and communities who experience health disparities, and collaboration and coordination with the state HAI/AR Program and other partners.
  • Have at least one person who works at the LHD who will:
    • Participate in a monthly community of practice with other LHDs;
    • Coordinate with local, state, and regional partners; and
    • Support IPC practices at facilities within their jurisdiction, through assessment, education, sharing of resources, and identification of and response to outbreaks.

All LHDs are eligible to apply for the BLOC COVID-19 + project, including LHDs that received funding during the first year of the BLOC COVID-19 Demonstration Site project and LHDs that received technical assistance through the Infection Prevention and Control Assessment Training project.

Expectations

LHDs awarded funding through the BLOC COVID-19 + project must complete the following required activities during the project period. The project period starts on January 2, 2022 and is expected to end on June 30, 2023, contingent on CDC approval of a no-cost extension. Review the application instructions for more information about required and supplemental activities. The required activities for LHDs are noted below:

  • Conduct a scan of LHD staff capacity related to HAI/AR response and IPC;
  • Develop or, for LHDs funded during the first year of the BLOC COVID-19 project, update a customized IPC training plan for one or more LHD staff to support the skills needed to conduct COVID-19, HAI, and AR pathogen outbreak investigations and assessments and to support training and education to facilities;
  • Execute an agreement with an IPC content expert who will support the scan of LHD staff capacity related to IPC, development of the LHD staff training plan, and help implement other activities as needed;
  • Engage with the state HAI/AR program;
  • Identify and coordinate with stakeholders also engaging with high-risk facilities;
  • Work with and support high-risk facilities in the jurisdiction on COVID-19, HAI, and AR prevention and control activities, including conducting ICAR assessments and leveraging CDC’s Project Firstline tools and resources;
  • Participate in monthly peer-to-peer sharing and capacity building assistance calls facilitated by NACCHO to review progress of planned activities and share lessons learned and practices;
  • Participate in evaluation-related activities to track and measure progress towards expressed outcomes; and
  • Complete a final report detailing successes, challenges, and lessons learned.

Interested in participating?

Start now by reviewing the application instructions. The application instructions include greater detail about expectations, timeline, and how to submit a proposal for funding.

Important dates

  • Optional informational webinar: To learn more about applying, view the recording of the optional informational webinar, which was held on Tuesday, November 2. The recording is available here. The slides presented during the webinar are available here.
  • Application submission deadline: 5:00 pm PT on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
  • Anticipated notice of award: Friday, December 17, 2021.
  • Anticipated start of project period: Sunday, January 2, 2022.
  • Anticipated end of project period: Contingent on CDC approving a no-cost extension, the project will end on Friday, June 30, 2023.

Questions?

For more information or questions, please email NACCHO at infectiousdiseases@naccho.org and check this webpage for a regularly updated FAQ document (last updated on November 3, 2021) and a recording of the optional informational webinar.

To learn more about NACCHO’s HAI work, visit this webpage.


About Christina Baum

More posts by Christina Baum

About Jaclyn Abramson

Jaclyn Abramson is a Program Analyst on the NACCHO Infectious Disease team. Learn more about how NACCHO works with local health departments to strengthen their capacity to prevent and control infectious diseases here.

More posts by Jaclyn Abramson

About Zachary Smith

Zach Smith is a Program Analyst on the NACCHO Infectious Disease team. Learn more about how NACCHO works with local health departments to strengthen their capacity to prevent and control infectious diseases here.

More posts by Zachary Smith

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