Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $1.2 Million in Health Service Federal Funding Headed to Tribes in Multnomah County

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced the Department of Health and Human Services will be awarding a grant totaling $1,169,999 to the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. Over the next year, these funds will be used by the health board to partner with other national organizations to increase access to vaccines in underserved communities.

“The challenges of this pandemic have further emphasized what so many of us have long known: health care is essential care, and a human right,” said Merkley. “I’m grateful for this funding headed to tribal communities and I know it will help strengthen and boost accessibility to health care and health services for many. I look forward keeping up with this project and will continue to work with Oregon’s tribal nations to ensure they have the resources they need to thrive.”

“Vaccinations are an essential part of getting this public health crisis in our rearview mirror as soon as possible, and these federal resources will help achieve that goal,” said Wyden. “I’m gratified the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board has earned these funds that can narrow the disparities experienced by Tribal members during this pandemic and with health care overall. And I’ll keep battling for Tribal communities across our state to receive vital health care resources.”

The $1.17 million grant is awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) of the Department of Health and Human Services. This federal investment will play a critical role in funding and supporting the Tribal Epidemiology Center Consortium project—to increase vaccination coverage across American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adult populations who are currently experiencing disparities.