June 2021

CDC grants Ohio $34 million to help with health disparities stemming from pandemic

Courtesy of ABC 6 On Your Side
By Alexis Moberger
June 11, 2021

Health disparities continue to stem from the pandemic, especially in rural and minority communities. To try and improve some of those disparities, the CDC is awarding Ohio more than $34 million dollars.

“I am really appreciative that the CDC recognizes not only our urban communities but also our brother and sisters in our rural and Appalachia communities,” said Stephanie Hightower, President of the Columbus Urban League.

Stephanie Hightower, President of the Columbus Urban League has been working to repair some of those disparities, and she knows the CDC funds will make a difference.

“We have similar issues and so to be able to get that money so that we can begin to educate people and so we can keep everybody healthy, I think is really a tremendous opportunity for the state,” said Hightower.

The Ohio Department of Health will receive $31,011,053 and $7,169,724 million of that will be for rural communities. Columbus Public Health will receive $3,396,978.

The grants are part of a $2.25 billion federal investment and it’s the CDC’s largest investment to date when it comes to improving health and equity.

“We know that black people and brown people already have disproportionately a lot of pre-existing conditions that will then, if they do contract COVID, that they have a shorter life span,” said Hightower.

The CDC also hopes the funds can be used to ramp up COVID testing and contract tracing, and efforts to try and control the spread of the virus.

“We still have a lot of people as you know in the state and even still in the black and brown communities who are not taking the test, said Hightower.

ABC6/FOX28 reached out to ODH and some public health departments in smaller counties. However, at this time, they weren’t ready to on-camera or make a statement as they’re still waiting for the funds to be allocated.

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