WASHINGTON, D.C. – On April 6, AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced grant awards for Public Health AmeriCorps, a partnership to support the recruitment, training, and development of a new generation of public health leaders. The announced grants, totaling more than $60 million, will allow Public Health AmeriCorps programs to recruit nearly 3,000 AmeriCorps members across the nation.

Biden-Harris Administration officials, elected officials and nonprofit leaders have applauded Public Health AmeriCorps, highlighting the impact it will have on underserved communities, particularly those affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic.

See below for what they are saying:

Administration and Elected Officials

“We at [the CDC] are committed to supporting efforts that build a strong and diverse workforce that can swiftly respond to and address [Public Health] challenges. Public Health AmeriCorps can help us build our nation’s next generation of public health leaders,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. [Tweet, 4/6/2022; White House COVID Briefing, 4/5/2022]  

“Excited about the launch of Public Health AmeriCorps, which will help meet the needs of local communities—including COVID response—and provide pathways to public health careers for more Americans,” said White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice. [Tweet, 4/6/2022] 

“Kentuckians deserve access to health care – a basic human right – and this funding will support the recruitment, training and development of a new generation of public health leaders,” said Governor Andy Beshear (KY). “The funding will support the addition of community health workers with coordination from Serve Kentucky, the agency committed to engaging Kentuckians in volunteerism and service to positively impact our communities.” [Release, 4/7/2022]  

“AmeriCorps is one of the world’s greatest service programs and this funding will boost public health across underserved areas of Upstate New York from the rural towns of the Southern Tier to Rochester’s inner-city neighborhoods,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “The pandemic put a spotlight on the already tremendous need for expanding healthcare accessibility in our most vulnerable areas, which is why I fought so hard to get Public Health AmeriCorps the support it needed in the American Rescue Plan. This funding will go a long way to bolstering healthcare accessibility for residents that need it most and get volunteers the training and financial support they need to strengthen the medical workforce of these areas for years to come.” [Release, 4/6/2022]  

“Our healthcare workers have been our heroes during the pandemic, going above and beyond to help others.  These AmeriCorps workers will be the next generation of healthcare heroes, ensuring Connecticut will have a sufficient number of doctors, nurses, and other frontline staff especially during future health emergencies. I am proud that as a delegation we fought this funding to support Community Health Center and Health360 as they continue to provide essential services to those most in need in our communities,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) [Release, 4/6/2022]  

“The AmeriCorps program is about empowering citizens to strengthen their local communities,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “These investments will allow The Ohio State University to take on volunteers who will help tackle local challenges, help local residents access important resources, and further expand their efforts to improve the lives of Ohio residents – with no out-of-pocket costs.” [Release, 4/7/2022] 

“I was thrilled to see yesterday’s announcement of the first Public Health AmeriCorp programs. AmeriCorps members have played an essential role in our COVID response and recovery,” said Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). [Tweet, 4/7/2022] 

“Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has put our health care system and providers in desperate need of reinforcements,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “This federal funding is a critical investment in the next generation of public health leaders. Public Health AmeriCorps members will serve on the front lines to provide low-income communities with improved access to health education and care and provide surge capacity as we continue to battle the pandemic. I’m proud to have fought to pass the American Rescue Plan, which provided the funding to make this project possible, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure that New York is prepared for future health crises.” [Release, 4/6/2022]  

“As a former AmeriCorps member in New Mexico, I know first-hand that there is no venture more rewarding than working to improve the lives of those around us,” said Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM). “I’m proud to welcome this American Rescue Plan funding to support a new generation of AmeriCorps leaders and expand available public health resources in New Mexico.” [Release, 4/12/2022] 

“I was proud to celebrate National Public Health Week last week by joining my colleagues in welcoming this robust funding to create new public health positions in New Mexico,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). “Following the resolution I led last week to raise awareness about public health challenges, I’m glad this funding will help expand and improve public health services in our state while providing more opportunities for our future generations.” [Release, 4/12/2022] 

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, this funding will help make sure underserved communities in Middletown and Waterbury can access critical physical and mental health services and create a pipeline of public health workers. I’m grateful to AmeriCorps and its talented volunteers who have a long history of strengthening our communities with their service, and I’ll continue supporting these efforts that make a big difference for the people of Connecticut,” said Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) [Release, 4/6/2022] 

“Nearly $4 million in Public Health AmeriCorps funding is heading to deserving organizations across California,” said Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA). “I’m proud to have secured this funding that will go towards the recruitment and development of public health professionals who will now be better equipped with the training and resources they need to best serve our communities.” [Release, 4/7/2022] 

“The public health workforce has been pushed to the limit by COVID-19, doing heroic work under devastating circumstances” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03). “We know barriers to healthcare access and the mental health crisis throughout the pandemic were exacerbated in our state and around the country. The American Rescue Plan funding for Public Health AmeriCorps projects announced today will help increase health knowledge and improve access to care through Community Health Center Inc.’s Healthy Communities program and Health360’s Health Minds Alliance program will address local mental health needs. This initiative will create a pipeline for public health workers and will raise the overall quality of care, capacity, and public health safety in Connecticut. AmeriCorps remains a pillar in our state services, and I am proud we were able to secure these funds to sustain such a valuable program that has made a tangible impact in rebuilding our communities and neighborhoods hit hard by COVID-19. This investment will mobilize volunteers and workers and gives us the tools we need to continue helping us get through the pandemic.” [Release, 4/7/2022]  

“This pandemic has highlighted the critical role public health leaders play in keeping our communities healthy and thriving. We must continue to support their efforts as we move forward,” said Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03). “I am excited to see these investments in my district to ensure we can help develop the great new generation of public health leaders.” [Release, 4/12/2022] 

“Supporting public health – particularly during the pandemic – is some of the most important work we do in Congress. With these funds, more than 80 AmeriCorps members will support pandemic relief and improve public health in our communities as we Build a Better America,” said Representatives David Scott (GA-13), Hank Johnson (GA-04) and Nikema Williams (GA-05) in a joint release. [Release, 4/6/2022] 

“On the heels of National Public Health Week, I am proud to celebrate American Rescue Plan funding that invests in opportunities for our young people to serve our communities in advancing public health and food security,” said Melanie Stansbury (NM-01). “These AmeriCorps projects will expand access to critical public health resources for our communities and facilitate the training, recruitment, and development of public health leaders right here in New Mexico!” [Release, 4/12/2022] 

“During the ongoing public health crisis, Goodwill of Northern New England and its AmeriCorps members have strengthened and supported our communities. As the pandemic continues, this grant will help expand their ability to help Mainers in underserved communities so more have access to the care they need,” said Representative Chellie Pingree (ME-01). “This is yet another example of how funding made possible through the American Rescue Plan is being put back into our communities, public health systems, and education so that we can more effectively and equitably serve the people of Maine. This funding fills a critical care gap and I’m grateful to these Public Health AmeriCorps members for their commitment to Maine.” [Release, 4/6/2022] 

Grantees and Non-Profit Leaders

The [University of Minnesota] School of Public Health is excited to work with ServeMinnesota on this new important initiative,” said Timothy Beebe, University of Minnesota Interim Dean. “By drawing on expertise from across our school, and in collaboration with partners across the state, we can help Public Health Corps participants increase the capacity, effectiveness, and diversity of Minnesota’s public health workforce.” [Release, Tweet, 4/13/2022] 

“The American Heart Association envisions a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a full, healthy life,” said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association Chief Executive Officer. “The Public Health AmeriCorps initiative will accelerate our work to advance more equitable health outcomes for rural communities and build the foundation for our rural health efforts. Leveraging our public health expertise, strategic alliances and extensive training models and resources, we believe we can bridge the gap in rural health worker shortages and build a dedicated and sustainable public health workforce.” [Release, Tweet, 4/6/2022] 

“It is with much gratitude and appreciation that we welcome this award to expand the capacity of public health agencies and to increase the availability of mental health resources in Idaho,” said Jana Bodily-Roan, Project Director of the Idaho State University’s Institute for Rural Health. [Release, 4/6/2022] 

“Establishing AmeriCorps service positions for our current [Northern Arizona University] students is meaningful in so many ways. Students are financially and professionally supported during the final steps of their training, new partnerships will be developed to address health priorities in communities across the region and this program will open doors for new public health professionals to stay and work in Arizona,” said Kristen Konkel, Northern Arizona University ‘s Senior Public Health Lecturer. [Release, 04/13/2022] 

“Community Health Workers provide people living with epilepsy the support, knowledge, and resources we need to ensure no one is alone in their epilepsy journey.  Every epilepsy center in MA, ME, NH, RI, and VT is committed to this novel service delivery approach. This grant will help thousands of people a year to get what they need to address the challenges of living with epilepsy while becoming part of our amazingly resilient and caring community,” said Susan Linn, President and CEO of Epilepsy Foundation New England. [Release, 4/6/2022] 

“COVID has made gaps in public health more apparent, and we know there is a critical need for a more diverse workforce to meet the needs of our communities,” said Audrey Suker, ServeMinnesota Chief Executive Officer. “Public Health Corps aims to address both of these challenges. We are thrilled to help support the many public health agencies within local government and other organizations across the state.” [Release, Tweet, 4/13/2022]