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National Health Corps Delaware to address COVID-19 pandemic

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New Castle – County Executive Matt Meyer, US Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester announced a pilot AmeriCorps program called National Health Corps Delaware to address the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health inequities.  Member service activities for this pilot period will focus on reducing health disparities exacerbated by the pandemic in addition to address the ongoing COVID-19 health needs in the community.

Matt Meyer, New Castle County Executive | PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW CASTE COUNTY

“We are in this together,” said Meyer in a statement. “This partnership with the National Health Corps will create job opportunities in our most vulnerable communities, keeping the pressure on to eradicate this virus from our communities.”

The pilot AmeriCorps program, which will have 15-20 members in the initial phase, will last one year and will be funded through New Castle County’s federal CARES Act allotment. The funding will last through December 2021.  New Castle County appreciates the tremendous guidance from the Health Federation of Philadelphia and AmeriCorps in launching this program expansion into Delaware.

“In order to get Americans back to work, students back to schools, and our economy back on track, we must crush this virus. This program will harness the talent in the National Health Corps along with hardworking Delawareans across our state to assist with the vaccination effort, identify and address health disparities in our communities, and be a model for other states as we work to move past the pandemic. These are exactly the kind of common sense programs that we need to finally put this pandemic in our rear view mirror, and I’m glad that funding from the CARES Act that Congress passed will help to support it.”

“The National Health Corps is a fantastic model for how we can use national service to address health issues and health equity – especially during this pandemic. I’m excited about the launch of the NHC program here in Delaware, and I’m grateful for everybody who’s helped make it happen. I look forward to meeting the Delawareans who commit to meeting this moment and getting things done. In the Senate, I will continue to push bipartisan support for expanding the scope of how we’re utilizing national service to respond to this moment.”

“I’ve said from Day 1 of passing the CARES Act that our goal was impact. The program that we are announcing today will help us do just that – create a real and lasting impact on our state through the National Health Corps. I’m particularly pleased that this program will help our state focus on bolstering our vaccine efforts along with identifying and addressing health disparities in our communities in a strategic manner. I want to thank all of our partners who made this announcement possible and look forward to seeing the impact of their work.”

“Health Federation of Philadelphia has a long-standing commitment to finding community solutions to public health challenges,” said Natalie Levkovich, CEO of Health Federation of Philadelphia in a statement. “We believe strongly in our National Health Corps program and in community service as effective responses to those challenges. Partnering with the can-do State of Delaware to replicate our proven program model is a very exciting and timely undertaking.”

“On his first day in office, President Biden made it clear that one of the most urgent challenges facing this Administration is to contain COVID-19 and help America build back better. Through AmeriCorps, this new project will harness our nation’s greatest strength – the American people – to help push us tackle this national emergency. Working together, we can have an enormous impact,“ said Karen Dahl, senior advisor for COVID-19 at the federal agency AmeriCorps in a statement.

The program members will work to achieve the National Health Corps program goal of reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes in communities. Main objectives of the program are:

  • Objective 1: Support empowerment in youth and adults to make choices about their health and lead healthier lives.
  • Objective 2: Foster members’ skills related to professional development, commitment to health-related careers, ethic of service, and reducing health disparities.
  • Objective 3: Support organizations that aim to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes in communities.
  • Objective 4: Create a model for national service in a crisis.

New Castle County will immediately start recruiting for two staff positions: a Program Director and a Program Coordinator.  In addition, we encourage non-profit and government entities who are working on COVID-19 response to apply to become host sites for the National Health Corps Delaware members.  Member recruitment will follow shortly.  Information on the staff positions and applying to become a host site is located on our National Health Corps Delaware site.

Potential host sites are invited to a virtual information session on Thursday, January 28 at 2:30pm using this zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84747462615?pwd=dHVsL2daTWJIU1FpeHVIcThrRW1OUT09

For more information, visit www.newcastlede.gov/NHCD

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