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The National Association of County and City Health Officials Announces $5 million in Grants to Improve Public Health Connection to Refugee, Immigrant, and Migrant Communities

Dec 01, 2021 | Jas Florentino, Rezwana Uddin

“Meaningful engagement of affected communities in public health is a guiding principle of our work,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, NACCHO Chief Executive Officer.

— New Collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants Will Support Vulnerable Communities at Risk for COVID-19 —

Washington, DC, December 1, 2021 — The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the voice of the country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments (LHDs), is pleased to announce new funding awards to support rapid scale-up of innovative COVID-19 prevention strategies in refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities. This partnership with the University of Minnesota’s National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM) supports local health departments and community partners in their work with refugee, immigrant and migrant communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Each of the 23 awardees will receive in excess of $130,000 to directly support pilot projects between health departments and community-based organizations to rapidly scale up COVID-19 prevention and vaccination.

“Meaningful engagement of affected communities in public health is a guiding principle of our work,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, NACCHO Chief Executive Officer. “This partnership with the University of Minnesota’s NRC-RIM provides refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities and local health departments the resources they need to build and sustain the kinds of relationships and connections that result in strong public health.”

While COVID-19 has impacted all communities, multiple factors put some RIM communities at disproportionate risk from the virus. According to NRC-RIM, multiple factors drive this, including, “work environments that make social distancing challenging, tenuous social and economic positions that make prevention and mitigation activities such as isolation and quarantine difficult, immigration status, and barriers to healthcare access.” However, these populations also exhibit strength and resilience regardless of these barriers, as well as a commitment to their communities. This grant project is intended to build upon these assets to work with and support these communities to strengthen public health efforts during this crisis and into the future.

The awards, made possible with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are being made available to local health departments and community-based organizations to create and strengthen sustainable partnerships with refugee, immigrant and migrant communities in their jurisdictions. Recipients will implement and evaluate a series of promising interventions to better reach and engage refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities, including establishing community consortia to reach multiple communities, mobilizing community health workers, conducting town hall and other community outreach and education activities, engaging community leaders in addressing vaccine hesitancy, and conducting pop-up vaccine clinics.

NACCHO will provide technical assistance and support to these sites in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s NRC-RIM. The 23 awardees are:

  • Afghan Health Initiative – Auburn, WA ($175,000)
  • African Chamber of Commerce Colorado – Denver, CO ($250,000)
  • Bexar County Health Collaborative – San Antonio, TX ($250,000)
  • Cameron County Public Health – San Benito, TX ($250,000)
  • Canal Alliance – San Rafael, CA ($250,000)
  • CASA de Maryland, Inc.– Hyattsville, MD ($247,884)
  • Champaign -Urbana Public Health District – Champaign, IL ($131,773)
  • Chicago Workers Collaborative – Chicago, IL ($175,000)
  • Public Health -Dayton and Montgomery County – Dayton, OH ($250,000)
  • Douglas County Health Department – Omaha, NE ($175,000)
  • International Rescue Committee - Arizona – Tucson, AZ ($250,000)
  • Korean Community Center of East Bay – San Leandro, CA ($250,000)
  • Lutheran Community Services NW – SeaTac, WA ($174,708)
  • Mission Economic Development Agency– San Francisco, CA ($250,000)
  • Nuestra Comunidad – Santa Rosa, CA ($175,000)
  • The New York Immigration Coalition, Inc. – New York, NY ($250,000)
  • Open Path Resources – Minneapolis, MN ($173,608)
  • Refugee Women’s Network, Inc. – Atlanta, GA ($249,209)
  • San Ysidro Health – San Diego, CA ($250,000)
  • Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition – Nashville, TN ($250,000)
  • Tri Community Mediation, Inc. – Salisbury, MD ($250,000)
  • United Community Action Partnership, Inc. – Willmar, MN ($158,767)
  • United Way Fresno and Madera Counties – Fresno, CA ($250,000)

# # #

About NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.

About NRC-RIM
The National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM) is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Organization for Migration to support health departments and community organizations working with refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. NRC-RIM collects, develops, and disseminates linguistically and culturally appropriate health communications and health education resources for refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities, and provides training and technical assistance to public health professionals working with those communities. Learn more at www.nrcrim.org.


About Jas Florentino

They are the Communications Specialist for HIV/STI/Viral Hepatitis Team

More posts by Jas Florentino

About Rezwana Uddin

Rezwana Uddin is a Program Analyst for the Refugee, Immigrant, & Migrant (RIM) Health Program at NACCHO

More posts by Rezwana Uddin

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