Awards to Increase Virtual Health Care Access and Quality Through Community Health Centers, Funding to Expand Community-Based Outreach Efforts to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations, and more

A Newsletter from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

February 17, 2022

Administrator Johnson Sworn In

Carole Johnson swearing in ceremony

Photo Caption: Carole Johnson takes the oath of office in her return to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

From left to right: HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm, and HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson.

Carole Johnson is our new administrator at HRSA. She joined HRSA from the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Carole previously served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, leading the state’s largest agency and providing health care and social services to one-in-five New Jerseyans.

Listen to Carole's podcast interview on iHeartRadio where she discusses the agency’s work on COVID-19 vaccinations through HRSA-supported health centers and community-based organizations, and our efforts in improving equitable access to high-quality care.

Learn more about Carole.

HHS Awards Nearly $55 Million to Increase Virtual Health Care Access and Quality Through Community Health Centers

virtual health care access

Awards will enhance telehealth, digital patient tools, and health information technology to support underserved communities.

February 14 - The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $55 million to 29 HRSA-funded health centers to increase health care access and quality for underserved populations through virtual care such as telehealth, remote patient monitoring, digital patient tools, and health information technology platforms. This funding builds on over $7.3 billion in American Rescue Plan funding invested in community health centers over the past year to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

“Virtual care has been a game-changer for patients, especially during the pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This funding will help health centers leverage the latest technology and innovations to expand access to quality primary care for underserved communities. Today’s announcement reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing health equity and putting essential health care within reach for all Americans.” 

Read the press release.

HHS Announces Winners of National Challenge to Increase Pediatric Vaccinations and Well-Child Visits

P4 challenge social media card

Responding to COVID-19-related Declines in Routine Childhood Vaccinations and Care, Challenge Generated 52,000 Pediatric Well-Child Visits and 23,000 Immunizations

February 10 - The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced 20 winners of the Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention (P4) Challenge, a nationwide competition to increase pediatric vaccination rates and well-child visits. 

Final winners represent the diversity of the country and include mobile vaccination projects, Head Start partnerships, primary care texting strategies, and targeted support for children supported by resource families.  Challenge projects generated more than 52,000 pediatric well-child visits and nearly 23,000 immunizations.

See the list of P4 Challenge winners.

Read the press release.

HHS Provides $66.5 Million to Expand Community-Based Outreach Efforts to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations

older adult female getting vaccine

Secretary Becerra: ‘Building Vaccine Confidence Is Critical to Increasing Vaccinations, Which Remains So Important’

February 8 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), today is providing $66.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to eight grantees to expand outreach efforts in 38 states and the District of Columbia to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and vaccinations.

“Building vaccine confidence is critical to increasing vaccinations, which remains so important as we encourage boosters and kids’ vaccinations,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. This investment by the Biden-Harris Administration further expands our progress in partnering with trusted local messengers to deliver needed information on COVID-19 vaccines. This funding will help even more community-based organizations build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine among people in their community who may not have been vaccinated yet.”

Read the press release.

New Webpage Highlights Positive Impacts of HRSA-supported Health Centers

child getting vaccinated

Our Bureau of Primary Health Care has released a new webpage showcasing the significant strides HRSA-supported health centers have made to promote public health and provide primary care services, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlighted stories illustrate the exemplary work of health centers in underserved areas across the country. Learn about the noteworthy actions taken to respond to COVID-19, advance telehealth, reach residents in their communities, and more.

Visit the new webpage.

Innovation in the Community Health Workforce

close up of person's hands on laptop keyboard

Our Center for Innovation (CFI) is hosting a series of public webinars and roundtable breakout sessions with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The “Innovation in the Community Health Workforce” on Thursday, February 17, 1 p.m. ET will focus on engaging the community health workforce and address the social determinants of health through technology, financing, and defining community health workforces.

“International Models of Innovation in Community Health” on Thursday, March 3, 1 p.m. ET will feature a discussion on how to advance health through learning from global successes in community-centered models.

Events will be live streamed on HHS Live.


Federal Efforts to Provide Vaccines to Racial and Ethnic Groups

woman getting vaccine through car window

Last week the Government Accountability Office published its final report, COVID-19: Federal Efforts to Provide Vaccines to Racial and Ethnic Groups (GAO-22-105079), which describes programmatic actions taken by HRSA, CDC, and FEMA to provide COVID-19 vaccines to underserved and historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups.

Learn more about how HRSA is addressing COVID-19 and health equity.

Get Connected through Lifeline

asian father and daughter looking at smart phone

Lifeline is a federal government program that offers a monthly discount on phone, internet, or bundled package bills to qualified low-income people, which can give them the tools to access services like telehealth. Customers living on Tribal lands can receive an additional benefit.

Learn more about Lifeline benefits and how to qualify.

HRSA Telehealth Learning Series: A Session on Innovative Rural Health Programs

telehealth learning series graphic

Join our upcoming webinar on innovative rural health programs on Monday, February 28, 3 p.m. ET. We will feature two recipients from HRSA’s Telehealth Network Grant Program.

The purpose of the program is to promote rural tele-emergency services by enhancing telehealth networks to deliver Emergency Department consultation services via telehealth to rural providers without emergency care specialists. Telehealth networks are also used to:

  • Expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of health care services
  • Improve and expand training for health care providers
  • Expand and improve the quality of health information available to health care providers, and patients and their families, for decision-making

This webinar is part of HRSA’s Telehealth Learning Webinar Series. The series’ goal is to highlight successful projects/best practices as well as resources to promote and further the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education, and health information services. 


State Actions to Increase Access to Supportive Housing Webinar

paperboard cut out of home

To improve the health of individuals experiencing homelessness and reduce associated health care costs, many states are leveraging COVID-19 relief and other funds to provide permanent supportive housing. This type of low-barrier, affordable housing provides health care and support services, such as case management, child care, and employment assistance.

To learn more, join the National Conference of State Legislatures’ webinar on Wednesday, March 2 at 2 p.m. ET. Featuring national and state perspectives, this webinar will explore the landscape of permanent supportive housing and highlight several state legislative actions.


HRSA’s National Organizations of State and Local Officials Cooperative Agreement provided support for this NCSL webinar.

image of a calendar


  • American Heart Month 
  • National Children's Dental Health Month 
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 
  • National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (7) 
  • National Donor Day (14) 

Funding Opportunities


Health Workforce

Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Mobile Health Training Program (NEPQR-MHTP) - apply by February 22

Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program - apply by March 22

Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program - apply by March 31

Area Health Education Centers Program - apply by April 6

State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) - apply by April 8

Health Workforce Research Center Cooperative Agreement Program - apply by April 14


Supporting Replication (SURE) of Housing Interventions in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program – Evaluation Provider - apply by February 23

Supporting Replication (SURE) of Housing Interventions in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program – Implementation and Technical Assistance Provider - apply by February 23

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F Dental Reimbursement Program - apply by March 11

Telehealth Strategies to Maximize HIV Care - apply by April 8

Maternal and Child Health

Home Visiting Research and Development Platform - apply by February 22

Enhancing Systems of Care for Children with Medical Complexity (Coordinating Center) - apply by March 7

Enhancing Systems of Care for Children with Medical Complexity (Demonstration Projects) - apply by March 7

Maternal and Child Environmental Health Network (MCEHN) - apply by March 28

MCH Adolescent and Young Adult Health Research Network (AYAH-RN) - apply by March 29

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Research Network - apply by April 4

Autism Single Investigator Innovation Program (Autism-SIIP) – Autism Transitions Research Project (ATRP) - apply by April 4

Autism Single Investigator Innovation Program (Autism-SIIP) – Autism Longitudinal Data Project (ALDP) - apply by April 4

American Rescue Plan Act – Pediatric Mental Health Care Access – New Area Expansion - apply by April 5

Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network 3.0 (HV CoIIN 3.0) - apply by April 6

Autism CARES Act National Interdisciplinary Training Resource Center - apply by April 7

Catalyst for Infant Health Equity - apply by April 19

Infant-Toddler Court Program – National Resource Center - apply by May 4

Infant-Toddler Court Program – State Awards - apply by May 4

Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems: Evidence to Impact - apply by May 10

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Recipients Cooperative Agreement - apply by February 28

Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program- Emergency Medical Services Competing Supplement - apply by March 4

Rural Health and Economic Development Analysis - apply by March 8

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Behavioral Health Care Technical Assistance - apply by March 9

Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program - apply by March 18

Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program - apply by March 21

Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program - apply by April 5

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Behavioral Health Care Support - apply by April 19

View All Funding Opportunities