Washington, D.C. (KINY) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $15 million to 52 Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and other health services providers.
The funding includes $300,000 for the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium in Juneau.
Tribes in 20 different states will receive funding.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration stands with Tribal nations across the country as they grapple with this pandemic, “Today’s funding gives Tribes critical support to build up their capacity for fighting COVID-19, boost testing capabilities, increase purchases of PPE, and hire and pay the personnel they need.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many Tribal communities, particularly in rural areas, very hard,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “By directing new resources to these areas we are hoping to make a difference that will result in fewer new infections of this pernicious virus.”
The RTCR program funding allows Tribes maximum flexibility in how they respond to COVID-19 within their communities. Activities include supporting their workforce by ensuring access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and offering overtime and hazard pay, building infrastructure to include maximizing telehealth services, increasing their capacity to test and isolate suspected COVID-19 patients, purchasing mobile clinics or vehicles for transporting COVID-19 patients to increase access to health care services and providing culturally-informed educational resources and information to promote behaviors that slow the spread of the virus.