HHS Community Health News, April 27- May 1

HHS released the following COVID-19 updates on April 27. On this page are summaries provided by HHS with links to the full articles. Articles are sorted by topic.

Funding Related to COVID-19
Economic Stimulus Package

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

Friday’s new law infuses $370 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans grants. This action provides extensions and modifications to these Coronavirus Relief Programs and gives nonprofits, including faith-based organizations, small businesses, rural owned public hospitals, and self-employed individuals and independent contractors another opportunity to receive federal support.  As in the prior rounds,  organizations and individuals should act quickly.

Find an eligible lender and refer to the updated FAQ from the Small Business Association.   Also see the FAQ Regarding Participation of Faith-Based Organizations in PPP and EIDL.


CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

Last week, HHS announced additional information about allocations of the $100 billion Provider Relief Act (PRA) created in the CARES Act.  See the Fact Sheet to learn how the funds are being used to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.


HHS Awards $1.3 Billion to Health Centers in Historic U.S. Response to COVID-19

HHS awarded more than $1.3 billion to 1,387 health centers to help communities across the country detect coronavirus; prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19; and maintain or increase health capacity and staffing levels to address this public health emergency. Visit FindAHealthCenter.HRSA.Gov to locate the health center closest to you.


HHS Awards Nearly $165 Million to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Communities

Nearly $165 million has been awarded to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. These investments will support 1,779 small rural hospitals and provide additional funding to 14 HRSA-funded Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) to provide technical assistance on telehealth to help rural and underserved areas combat COVID-19.


HHS Awards $90 Million to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Recipients for COVID-19 Response

In funding provided by the CARES Act, $90 million was awarded for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients across the country to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


$45 million in Funding to Support Child Welfare Services

The CARES Act spending bill provides $45 million to support the child welfare needs of families during this crisis and to help keep families together. These funds will be dispersed to states, territories, and tribes in an effort to provide financial and administrative support to their child welfare system. More information about child welfare specific to this public health crisis can be found on the Children’s Bureau website.


CDC Releases $631 Million to States and Jurisdictions

CDC is awarding $631 million to 64 jurisdictions to help states with their efforts to establish or enhance their ability to aggressively identify cases, conduct contact tracing and follow up, as well as implement appropriate containment measures; improve morbidity and mortality surveillance; enhance testing capacity; control COVID-19 in high-risk settings and protect vulnerable or high-risk populations; and working with healthcare systems to manage and monitor system capacity. Visit  the landing page for all available CDC financial resources for COVID-19.


Previously Mentioned Awards Related to COVID-19

$1 Billion in Grants to Support Older Adults and People with Disabilities in the Community

HHS’s Administration for Community Living (ACL) announced nearly $1 billion in CARES Act grants to support older adults and people with disabilities in the community during the COVID-19 emergency.


SAMHSA Released $110 Million in Funds for SUDs and Mental Health

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) distributed $110 million to help Americans with substance use disorders and serious mental illness receive the treatment they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Learn more about these emergency funds here.


Webinars, Virtual “Rounds,” and a Conference Call

Mental Health in a Time of COVID-19 Webinar Series: Preparing Faith Leaders to Address the Challenge

Tuesday, April 28, 12:00 ET, Register here

The outbreak of COVID-19 has placed overwhelming stress on people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and provoke strong emotions in adults and children. Even those without mental health diagnoses are experiencing challenges.  This webinar will help you understand what research tells us may be coming, the perspective of mental health professionals in this moment, and what faith leaders are preparing to address.

Visit HHS’s recently released webpage for resources on mental health and coping during the pandemic. Available in multiple languages.


Also review the Partnership Center’s Considering Faith, Community, and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Crisis – PDF which you can also find at www.hhs.gov/partnerships


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – COVID-19 Briefing Call

Tues., April 28, 2020, 1:30 – 2:00pm (EDT), Register here

Join Dr. David Carroll, PhD, Executive Director, Office of Mental Health & Suicide Prevention and Dr. Matthew Miller, PhD, MPH, Director, Office of Suicide Prevention Program for a COVID-19 briefing call.    


La Vida Durante la Pandemia del Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Miércoles, 29 de abril de 2020, 1:00 p.m. EST, Regístrese aquí

Los invitamos a usted y a su comunidad a participar en un seminario virtual en español. Los expertos de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades de Estados Unidos les darán a conocer las ultimas noticias del coronavirus (COVID-19). El seminario virtual, patrocinado en conjunto con el Centro para Iniciativas de Fe y Oportunidades del Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos de los Estados Unidos, les dará información importante y actualizada sobre la transmisión y detección del COVID-19, y cómo mantener seguros a sus familiares, a sus amigos y a su comunidad. Hablaremos sobre cómo se pueden preparar para el futuro y les enseñaremos como informarse de manera veraz y confiable


Information and Resources Related to COVID-19

Updated HHS Coronavirus Website

HHS has revamped hhs.gov/coronavirus to include more information about mental health resources, telehealth, the CARES Act, and the work HHS is doing across its operating divisions.


COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit: Resources for Healthcare Decision-Makers Responding to COVID-19 Workforce Concerns

The Administration released a new toolkit to help state and local healthcare decision makers maximize workforce flexibilities when confronting 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in their communities. Continue to refer to CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage for the most up-to-date clinical guidance on COVID-19 outbreak management.


HHS Launched a Telehealth Website to Expand Health Care Access 

Telehealth.hhs.gov was built for patients and providers to find all the updates and information about the latest efforts to support and promote telehealth services.


Providers Get Reimbursed for Caring for the Uninsured

HRSA will launch a new COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal allowing health care providers who have conducted COVID-19 testing or provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 patients on or after February 4, 2020 to request claims reimbursement.


Contact Tracing: Part of a Multipronged Approach to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

CDC released new information on contact tracing, as part of the strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19.  Communities must scale up and train a large contact tracer workforce and work collaboratively across public and private agencies to stop the transmission of COVID-19. Learn more here.


The Challenge of Tracking COVID-19’s Stealthy Spread

Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, writes about efforts to develop and implement strategies to prevent future outbreaks and address the many complex challenges facing researchers.


SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) is providing regular technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field. View TTA resources here.


Communication Toolkit for Transportation Partners to Inform Road Travelers

The CDC created this road travel toolkit for transportation departments and other partners to help reach domestic travelers with COVID-19 prevention messaging during road travel. 


FDA Continues to Ensure Availability of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Addresses Safety Concerns

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided an update on its efforts to ensure the availability of alcohol-based sanitizer to help meet the demand for hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the agency’s significant flexibility, more than 1,500 additional manufacturers have registered with the agency to produce hand sanitizer. At the same time, the agency is addressing safety concerns related to products being sold that are not in line with the FDA’s policy and others being marketed with unproven claims.


FDA Authorizes First Test for Patient At-Home Sample Collection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19.


FDA, Gates Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, Quantigen, and US Cotton collaborate to address testing supply needs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a further expansion of COVID-19 testing options through the recognition that spun synthetic swabs – with a design similar to Q-tips – could be used to test patients by collecting a sample from the front of the nose.

As part of this effort, U.S. Cotton, the largest manufacturer of cotton swabs and a subsidiary of Parkdale-Mills, developed a polyester-based Q-tip-type swab that is fully synthetic for compatibility with COVID-19 testing. Harnessing its large-scale U.S.-based manufacturing capabilities, U.S. Cotton plans to produce these new polyester swabs in large quantities to help meet the needs for coronavirus diagnostic testing.


FDA Encourages Recovered Patients to Donate Plasma for Development of Blood-Related Therapies

As part of the all-of-America approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working with partners across the U.S. government, academia and industry to expedite the development and availability of critical medical products to treat this novel virus. Today, we are providing an update on one potential treatment called convalescent plasma and encouraging those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma to help others fight this disease.


Funding Announcements

Office of Justice Programs Announces Nearly $70 million To Support Reentry

Awarded: The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recently announced nearly $70 million in grant funding to help communities address public safety by supporting successful reentry of adult and juvenile offenders into their communities. OJJDP also supports reentering youth through programs and resources, including “Reentry Starts Here: A Guide for Youth in Long-Term Juvenile Corrections and Treatment Programs.” Visit the funding page for details about other OJJDP funding opportunities.


Rural Tribal COVID-19 Response Program

New Opportunity: HRSA-20-135.  Through the CARES Act, HRSA received $15M to allocate to tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and health service providers to tribes. The funding will provide support for the Tribes to prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 in rural communities.  Closing date: May 6, 2020


The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program Formerly known as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI)

Funding projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Closing date: May 18, 2020


Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation:

HRSA-20-031 This funding opportunity will advance Rural Communities Opioid Response Program’s (RCORP’s) overall goal by strengthening and expanding SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services to enhance rural residents’ ability to access treatment and move towards recovery. Closing date: May 26, 2020


SAMHSA Treatment, Recovery, and Workforce Support Grant:

TI-20-013 The purpose of this program is to implement evidence-based programs to support individuals in substance use disorder treatment and recovery to live independently and participate in the workforce. Closing date: June 1, 2020

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