OREGON — On July 23, The Oregon Health Authority announced the launch of a new program to fund work by Community Based Organizations to help respond to COVID-19 in culturally and linguistically responsive ways in communities across the state.
OHA will provide 173 CBOs with $9.4 million in CARES Act funds. The CBOs are contracted to help with three specific areas, though not all organizations were contracted to carry out work in all areas.
- Outreach and community engagement;
- Contact tracing together with local public health authorities; and
- Providing people with social services/wraparound supports.
The organizations are in every county in the state, with deep ties to the communities they serve. Grants range from $9,500 to $352,200 for the first three months of funding (July 1-Sept. 30, 2020) and depend on the type and scope of work the organization has agreed to carry out. Additional CBOs may be funded as applications come in to OHA.
OHA recognizes the impact longstanding health inequities, rooted in systemic racism and oppression, are having on COVID-19 infections in Oregon, stated a press release from OHA. CBOs are key to preventing and mitigating COVID-19 in communities that are most impacted. With COVID-19 disproportionately affecting communities of color, including high infection rates among Latinx, Black and Pacific Islanders, among others, the need for this program was substantial.
“Today, we’re taking a step forward in addressing the inequities COVID-19 has laid bare,” said Patrick Allen, OHA director. “These CBOs are trusted messengers in their communities who have been trying to provide support with existing resources. This partnership with OHA and local public health authorities will give CBOs the resources they need to increase their outreach and add much-needed capacity for an equitable statewide response.”
A full list of the CBOs and additional information about the program is available at healthoregon.org/communityengagement.