Tuskegee gets $3M grant to fight COVID-19, improve health literacy

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - The city of Tuskegee has been awarded $3 million to fight COVID-19 and to improve health literacy among racial and ethnic minorities and other vulnerable communities.

The award comes from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, according to the city. It’s part of a $250 million, two-year initiative to identify and implement best practices for improving health literacy to enhance COVID-19 vaccination rates in underserved populations.

“As one of only three cities awarded funding in the State of Alabama, we are extremely grateful to OMH for this grant award,” said Tuskegee Mayor Tony Haygood. “With the assistance of Tuskegee University and our many community partners, we will work hard in our target Black Belt communities to significantly improve the health outcomes of some of our most vulnerable citizens. Our area of focus has, for instance, a COVID-19 vaccination rate of 37%. That rate must increase by many percentage points if we are to ensure that we are ready and prepared for the Delta, as well as any new, COVID-19 variants.”

Haygood thanked Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Dist. 7, and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Dist. 3, for their support.

Over the next two years, the city says it will work with local organizations in Bullock, Dallas, Lowndes, Macon and Wilcox counties to develop a “health literacy plan to increase the availability, acceptability, and use of COVID-19 public health information and services by racial and ethnic minority populations.”

The projects will also focus on other populations considered vulnerable for not getting and using COVID-19 public health information.

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