AAPCHO Awarded $9.5M to Support COVID-19 Vaccination Community-Based Efforts in Underserved A/AA and NH/PI Communities

July 1, 2021
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WASHINGTONThe Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) has been awarded $9,516,475.00 to develop and implement a COVID-19 Community Health Worker (CHW) National Workforce Access Program to expand existing COVID-19 vaccine outreach and education initiatives led by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and community-based organizations that serve vulnerable and medically underserved Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (A/AA and NH/PI) communities. AAPCHO is the only organization among other award recipients focused on providing workforce training and support to advance COVID-19 vaccination efforts to A/AA and NH/PI communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This award is part of a $125 million investment announced on June 14, 2021 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to develop and support a community-based workforce that will engage in locally tailored efforts to build vaccine confidence and bolster COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities. The COVID-19 CHW National Workforce Access Program will be implemented by 14 nonprofit private or public organizations to reach underserved communities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Freely Associated States.

This award validates the unique challenges A/AA and NH/PI communities have endured during the COVID-19 crisis, and recognizes the critical role a strong CHW workforce plays in responding to complex health and social needs. AAPCHO’s members and partners have the opportunity to expand and strengthen the CHW workforce with this new funding and mitigate the effects of the pandemic, including barriers to in-language and culturally competent care, limited availability of disaggregated racial/ethnic data, fear of accessing services perpetuated by systemic racism, anti-immigrant policies, and more.  

“This funding opportunity acknowledges the innovations and workforce capacity of community health centers and community-based organizations that have served as trusted frontline public health responders for A/AA and NH/PI communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joe Lee, director of strategic initiatives and partnerships. “Our health centers and community-based organizations’ proactive COVID-19 response efforts have resulted in the development of innovative workforce models and robust vaccine-related partnerships at the local level, leading to effective outreach and culturally responsive services for the most vulnerable. We look forward to continuing our collaborations with all partners in our network to expand the CHW workforce to drive equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and save more lives.” 

“The outreach workforce of health centers and community-based organizations have the expertise, lived experiences, language, and cultural wisdom necessary to navigate and reach those most in need of the COVID-19 vaccine, said Jen Lee, deputy director. “This workforce has been vital to increasing patients’ access to critical primary care and social service resources. AAPCHO and our partners thank the Biden administration and HRSA for this investment in health centers’ and community-based organizations’ critical frontline workforce. This grant will expand current efforts to ensure that training and resources are culturally and linguistically tailored to improve language access and help strengthen the health of our A/AA and NH/PI communities.”

More information about this award can be found here.


AAPCHO is a national association of community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States, the U.S. territories, and Freely Associated States. For more information on AAPCHO, please visit


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Kristine Cecile Alarcon
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