AmeriCorps and Massachusetts Service Alliance Announce Public Health AmeriCorps Grant
BOSTON- Today, the Massachusetts Service Alliance announced the launch of Public Health AmeriCorps programs in the Commonwealth. These programs are supported through a new partnership between AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health AmeriCorps, which is supported by a five-year, $400 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act, will help meet public health needs of local communities in Massachusetts by providing surge capacity and support while also creating pathways to public health-related careers.
This new AmeriCorps initiative will recruit, train, and develop future physicians, nurses, social workers, and other professionals in the public health sphere, to address broader public health needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Public Health AmeriCorps’ national programs and the Boston Public Health Commission, City of Lawrence, Mass., East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe will add capacity to strained public health systems and build a career pipeline for public health careers in Massachusetts,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “Over the next year, more than 50 new AmeriCorps members will provide invaluable services to communities and address the COVID-19 pandemic, substance use, community health and health education across the state. I look forward to championing these programs in partnership with our grantees, Massachusetts Service Alliance and Massachusetts health leaders.”
AmeriCorps members will serve communities across the state by providing health education, helping patients navigate health and wellness follow-up, supporting health-related research, improving housing to lead to healthier outcomes, and assisting with testing and vaccination efforts and more.
“We are all still trying to recover from the stress that the pandemic has put on our Massachusetts communities,” said Emily Haber, Massachusetts Service Alliance CEO. “We are thrilled that we will have so many programs in Massachusetts that will be engaging AmeriCorps members in addressing pressing health concerns in our communities thanks to this new AmeriCorps/CDC initiative. The Public Health AmeriCorps members will join over 2,000 other AmeriCorps members that will be meeting critical needs across our communities next year in health, education, the environment, and workforce development.”
Public Health AmeriCorps is an example of a whole government approach to address our nation’s most pressing challenges. The partnership between AmeriCorps and the CDC leverages the expertise of both agencies, capitalizing on AmeriCorps’ experience managing some of the most prominent public service and workforce development programs in the nation while benefitting from CDC’s technical expertise as the country’s leading public health agency.
“East Boston Neighborhood Health Center is honored to partner with AmeriCorps to offer the next generation of healthcare leaders the opportunity to serve with us,” said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Chief Medical Officer Jackie Fantes. “As one of the nation’s leading community health centers, we see the power of high-quality, accessible healthcare to change lives every day. For those desiring to support health equity, we invite you to apply to our AmeriCorps post and lay the groundwork for what we feel is a fulfilling and exciting career path.”
“Since 2006, we’ve had the privilege of hosting some of the country’s most promising young healthcare leaders through our AmeriCorps partnership,” said Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program CEO Barry Bock. “They've infused our program with energy, innovation, and passion, while helping us in countless ways meet the complex needs of our patients.”
82 Public Health AmeriCorps grants totaling over $65 Million were awarded to state and local organizations across the country – 7 of which are based in Massachusetts including Boston Medical Center, Boston Public Health Commission, City of Lawrence, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Edward Kennedy Community Health Center, Epilepsy Foundation New England, and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.
“The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Public Health AmeriCorps Program is a result of the first AmeriCorps program that began with a planning grant in 2017 under the tribe’s Emergency Management Department. The original program had ended prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to ensure that our tribal community was better equipped and more ready for this type of incident so we applied for this new program with the hope of introducing some of our tribal members into the field of Public Health while serving their community. We are truly grateful to have received this significant funding opportunity and look forward to successful program years ahead as the only tribal recipient of the FY 22 Public Health AmeriCorps grant program” said Nelson Andrews Jr, tribal councilman and director of emergency management, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.