New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announces $10m grant program to address health equity issues exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic

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New Castle, DE – New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced a $10 million competitive grant program funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act today. These funds will be available to organizations who provide resources or services to the public to decrease healthcare inequities caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“There have been health inequities for generations, and COVID-19 has exacerbated those inequities, particularly in communities of color,” New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer said. “These funds will be used on immediate and urgent needs, as well as to address the root causes of unequal health outcomes in our communities.”

Non-profit groups, organizations and small businesses addressing health equity issues in New Castle County can complete a grant application and submit a proposal to receive funding to continue or expand their efforts to address health disparities in vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The funds will be available through a competitive grant process starting on Monday, August 24, 2020. Organizations interested in applying should visit https://www.nccde.org/2036/CARES-Act or can simplify to read caresact.nccde.org

This grant program is part of a direct response to the work of New Castle County’s CARES Act Task Force’s Promote Health Equity Committee, which launched on June 18, 2020. New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Vanessa S. Phillips and community member Alicia Clark co-chaired the committee, which consisted of the following 17 members from across the county: Jordan M. Hines, Julissa Coriano, Sandra Smithers, Marc Clymer, Reverend Shanika Perry, Jacqueline Ortiz, Gwen Angalet, Delsy Morales, Dr. Robert Hall, LaCades Todd, Dr. Cydney Teal, Dr. Eunice B. Gwanmesia, Taylor Burge, Dr. Rose Kakoza, Mbwidiffu Dibal, and Dr. Shauna McIntosh.

The committee was formed in response to the compelling concerns raised by committee member Jordan M. Hines who wrote an opinion piece on May 1, 2020 calling for the State government to establish a new task force to address public health disparities in Black and Latino communities. County Executive Matt Meyer read the article and immediately called Mr. Hines to discuss how the County could help.

“In May 2020, I drafted an op-ed which was a call for action for our elected officials to create a Covid-19 task force that focuses on racial and ethnic disparities. I was so grateful that County Executive Matthew Meyer answered my call to create the Covid-19 taskforce,” committee member Jordan Hines said. “While serving on the health equity committee, I witnessed County Executive Meyer’s willingness to participate in our meetings, review data, and research, and listen to other members’ suggestions on ways to address racial and ethnic disparities. His leadership, in addition to the CARES Act funding for community organizations, will help us address the ongoing inequalities this pandemic has exacerbated.”

Community-based organizations, non-profits, houses of worship, or other organizations dedicated to underserved populations of New Castle County are encouraged to apply for funding or reimbursements. Funding must be directly tied to COVID-19 related expenses. After organizations apply, they will be scored by the Promote Health Equity Committee and notified of their grant amount.

“COVID-19 has pulled back the curtain on the inequity in our health care system and shed light on a deep-rooted problem that, if unaddressed, will continue to affect all of us as we fight this pandemic,” County Councilman Dave Carter. “These funds will build the partnerships needed to help address the immediate COVID-19 problem affecting vulnerable communities, while establishing the necessary groundwork for long-term improvements in health care for everyone.”