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CDC awards St. Louis area nearly $5M grant for fight against COVID

The grant will be split six ways, with some money going to the county and city health departments along with several community organizations

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County, the city and several community organizations are getting a nearly $5 million boost in their fight against COVID-19.

The CDC grant was announced Wednesday morning. County Executive Sam Page said the $4.7 million will help improve the region’s response “by building resilient communities.”

The grant will be split six ways. The St. Louis County Department of Public Health will receive $2.5 million and the following five community health partners will split the remaining money.

  • The St. Louis Community Health Worker Coalition
  • The University of Missouri St. Louis’ Community Innovation and Action Center
  • The Integrated Health Network
  • Beyond Housing
  • The City of St. Louis Department of Health

The county health department plans to hire 10 more health workers and provide training for many more.

“The goal is to deepen community engagement, advocate for structural change, enhance and sustain partnerships and bolster the power and impact of Community Health Workers. All of this to build a more resilient community, one that can sustain our response to this pandemic and other public health crises in the future,” Page said Wednesday.

The county executive added that the additional money will help these groups get treatment and resources into more vulnerable parts of the St. Louis area that are underserved and at higher risk. He said these areas, especially African American communities, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

“We know that centuries of discriminatory policies and structures directly hinder Black families’ health and well-being, and systemic racism is now widely recognized as a public health crisis,” Page said.

The $4.7 million CDC grant is just for the first year of the project. The agency told St. Louis County officials the amount might grow to as much as $9.4 million if the program is funded in future years.