RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia received more than $67.5 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support public health infrastructure. The five-year grant will help increase the public health workforce, improve organizational systems and modernize data infrastructure.
“As Virginians continue to return to the office and social settings, and classrooms this grant will help us rebuild, reinforce and retain our public health workforce and system that was strained during the pandemic,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “From the first days of my administration, we have sought out ways to improve health outcomes for all Virginians and this grant will assist us get the necessary help needed to all Virginians across the Commonwealth.”
“This grant offers a most timely opportunity to support critical public health infrastructure in the Commonwealth,” said State Health Commissioner Colin Green, M.D., MPH. “The funding will allow us to invest in our outstanding public health professionals and provide Virginians with enhanced systems to protect the health and promote the well-being of all.”
The grant is part of the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding will help awardees address a range of infrastructure needs, based on the needs of their communities. The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) is one of the recipients of the multi-million dollar funding.
“As we work to enhance Virginia’s behavioral health and developmental disability systems of care, one of our key focuses is modernizing systems and processes that leverage best practices and technology to drive and sustain high-quality service outcomes,” said DBHDS Commissioner Nelson Smith. “The funding from this grant will help enable us to continue our system modernization and ensure that we are providing the best care possible for the Virginians we serve.”
“This funding will help recruit, train and develop scientists who are on the front lines of Virginia’s response to emerging diseases, environmental disasters and other public health threats,” said Joe Damico, DGS Director. “This workforce is critical to ensuring Virginia’s public health partners have access to high-quality, timely, cutting-edge laboratory data for disease surveillance and emergency surge response.”
VDH is one of 107 jurisdictions nationally to receive grant funding. The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health was awarded approximately $6 million from the same grant, and was the sole eligible locality in Virginia. CDC awarded a total of $3.2 billion to state, localities and jurisdictions across the nation. Recipients are expected to use the funding to achieve key short-term and long-term outcomes that involve workforce recruiting and support; improved processes, and policies; and develop efficient and sustainable technologies. The grant is the first of its kind that specifically targets overarching public health infrastructure and systems.
The VDH is coordinating this statewide public health grant.