News: County designates federal funding to strengthen public health capacity

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Hennepin County Minnesota


Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-910-9111


County designates federal funding to strengthen public health capacity

The Hennepin County Board has designated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to strengthen public health capacity in Hennepin County to meet the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, and address the ever-present need to prevent, protect and promote the health of all residents.


$10M to enhance public health infrastructure

Recognizing that it is essential to respond to crises like the current pandemic, while also addressing other public health challenges, the county board offered their strong support for enhancing the county’s public health infrastructure.

“The pandemic has reinforced the value of public health staff, and the expertise and skills they provide to keep Hennepin County residents healthy and safe,” said Hennepin County Board of Commissioners Chair Marion Greene. “Our public health staff and leaders have been stretched thin and have stepped up in countless ways over the past 20 months. At this critical moment we must continue to invest in them and their crucial work.”

ARPA funds will support hiring up to 30 FTEs to address staffing needs, as well as for community-based grants and tools including technology.


Services residents depend on

In addition to continuing to fight COVID-19, Hennepin County Public Health (HCPH) must provide the routine but vital public health services the residents of Hennepin County depend on. The resources allocated will enhance Hennepin County’s capabilities to address several core public health activities, including to:

  • Bolster infectious disease response and coordinate immunization outreach and delivery;
  • Strengthen public health emergency response;
  • Address the exacerbation of chronic diseases caused by COVID-19;
  • Coordinate early childhood development strategies; and
  • Expand population-based assessment capacity and increase project management capacity.

“I’m proud of our department’s response to COVID-19,” said Public Health Director Susan Palchick, PhD, MPH. “This funding will be used not only to continue to respond, but also to ensure that Hennepin County has the public health infrastructure required to protect the health of the community now and in the future.”


Continuing to address health disparities while partnering with community

The longstanding and well documented race-based health disparities in Hennepin County add to the urgency of strengthening public health infrastructure. The pandemic contributed to unacceptable health outcomes for residents. In response, the county partnered with many cultural community organizations to share reliable health information, expand testing options, and offer culturally specific testing and vaccination opportunities. Continuing to build relationships with these organizations and engage with them in future public health endeavors is a priority.

The funding allocated also will help ensure that disparity reduction and community engagement activities continue while strengthening public health capacity to serve all residents.

Hennepin County will continue to update with information about how we are allocating ARPA funding.


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