Funding will support 15 AmeriCorps members to meet public health needs of local community and help rebuild the nation’s public health sector
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) announced today that it has received a Public Health AmeriCorps grant of $203,558 from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. The grant will expand IALR’s presence in the Dan River Region, where IALR has been providing services for Southern Virginia since 2002. IALR has also served as the lead agency for the Dan River Year AmeriCorps program since 2015, with members serving over 15,000 hours focusing on building the region’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and literacy capacity.
“As one of five Virginia Public Health AmeriCorps recipients and the only one serving a primarily rural population, we are excited to be able to again partner with AmeriCorps to provide much-needed services for our community,” said Dana Silicki, IALR Program Manager.
Public Health AmeriCorps, a partnership between AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, supports the recruitment, training and development of a new generation of public health leaders. Supported by a five-year, $400 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act, Public Health AmeriCorps will help meet public health needs of local communities by providing surge capacity and support while also creating pathways to public health-related careers.
“Integrating REACH AmeriCorps into the REACH Partnership will greatly expand the number of community members we can serve,” said Dr. Cassandra Shelton, REACH Program Manager.
“The REACH Partnership aims to improve overall health and address barriers to health care by: providing a coordinated care team, connecting individuals to community resources, providing health education, coordinating communication among health care providers, and helping individuals develop skills to better manage their own health.”
With this new funding, IALR will leverage the skills and experience of REACH AmeriCorps members in the Dan River Region to expand capacity for public health service by providing direct outreach and education service in the City of Danville (Va.), Pittsylvania County (Va.) and Caswell County (N.C.). These AmeriCorps members will be responsible for serving 960 individuals, increasing their health knowledge and healthy behaviors through education, outreach, referrals and COVID response.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AmeriCorps has established aid networks, supported vaccination efforts and provided food and resources to those in need,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “Public Health AmeriCorps is a first of its kind response to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and social determinants of health. These new AmeriCorps members will add capacity to strained public health systems and build a career pathway for future public health leaders from underserved communities.”
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a REACH AmeriCorps service member, please contact Dana Silicki at email@example.com or 434-766-6729.