Wyden, Merkley: More than $800,000 to Lane County to Expand Community Health Care Workforce During Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Lane County will receive $877,731 to train community health workers to support COVID-19 public health response and build community resilience as the COVID pandemic drags on.

It’s clear that we are in this pandemic for longer than we hoped and need a collaborative, community-wide approach to continue to build vaccination levels and weather these variants,” Wyden said. “I am gratified to see Lane County earn these CDC funds to build out its community health workforce because we need everyone engaged to beat back this pandemic.”

“Community health workers have continuously been on the front lines fighting against COVID-19 and helping to combat the surge of the Delta variant,” Merkley said. “This CDC funding is vital to Lane County’s efforts to build a strong health care infrastructure that can support the needs of Lane County residents and Oregonians across the state. I’ll continue doing everything I can to get our communities the resources they need to respond to this deadly surge.”

Lane County Health and Human Services has been awarded funding through the CDC Community Health Worker for COVID Response and Resilient Communities Program. The program trains community health workers to participate in the COVID-19 public health response, deploy community health workers to support COVID-19 public health response, and to engage community health workers to build and strengthen community resilience. 

“Lane County will use funds to support collaboration between multiple divisions of Lane County including the Community Health Centers, Public Health, and Human Services divisions. We will expand our existing team of three community health workers in the Human Services Division to seven and expand our evaluation capacity,” said Teresa Roark, Dovetail Program Supervisor for Lane County. “We will also participate in a national evaluation on the impact of community health workers in supporting equitable public health response. We are grateful for the support and collaboration of PacificSource Community Solutions, Trillium Community Health Plan, the Lane County Health Council, and United Way of Lane County in developing this proposal.”

 A web version of this release is here.