White House Details COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Investment
On Thursday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced it will invest $7.4 billion from the recently enacted American Rescue Plan to recruit and hire public health workers to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future public health threats. Of the total amount, the Biden-Harris Administration will invest:
- $4.4 Billion to Surge Public Health Staffing for COVID-19 Response
- State and Local Support: This funding is anticipated to help states and localities increase their public health staffing and expertise available to lead local vaccination efforts, testing and contact tracing, and other critical public health activities. This funding includes at least $500 million for the hiring of school nurses as schools begin to reopen for in-person instruction.
- Public Health AmeriCorps: CDC and AmeriCorps will launch the Public Health AmeriCorps program to build a new workforce ready to respond to public health needs of the country.
- Recruit and Train Public Health Leaders: The CDC will expand its current workforce programs, including the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). Expanding workforce training opportunities is anticipated to support workforce diversity in public health to help reduce longstanding health disparities and inequities. In addition, the Administration will invest $80 million to train public health professionals to help modernize the public health data infrastructure.
- Laboratory Workforce and Preparedness: $337 million will be invested to strengthen the public health laboratory workforce pipeline by expanding fellowship and internship programs.
- $3 Billion to Prepare for Future Pandemics
- Modernize the Public Health Workforce: The CDC will create a new grant program to provide under-resourced health departments with the support needed to hire staff and build a strong public health workforce. The grant program will offer community health workers and others hired for the COVID-19 pandemic response an opportunity to continue their careers beyond the pandemic as public health professionals. CDC will convene federal, state, local, and territorial health experts to inform and design the new grant program.
Additional information from the White House is available here.