COVID-19 Related Health News and Opportunities

Keep Your Distance: Words of Advice for Faith Communities from the Surgeon General

VADM Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States, offered important guidance for faith communities captured in this Christianity Today articleWe can turn this pandemic around, he says,  by doing three simple things:

  1. Wear face masks when we’re in public,
  2. Wash our hands frequently for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, and
  3. Watch our distance from one another. “If you are meeting, understand that this virus likes to spread person to person. The closer we are to one another, the more likely it is to spread.”

FDA Reiterates Warning About Dangerous Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol

FDA continues to warn consumers not to use certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers due to the dangerous presence of methanol, or wood alcohol – a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze.

Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Investigational Vaccine for COVID-19 Begins

A Phase 3 clinical trial designed to evaluate if an investigational vaccine can prevent COVID-19 in adults has begun. The vaccine was co-developed by the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc. and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The trial, to be conducted at 89 U.S. clinical research sites, is expected to enroll approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have COVID-19.  (See next item)

Volunteer for COVID-19 Clinical Studies

NIH seeks volunteers, age 18 years or older, for the Phase 3 vaccine and monoclonal antibody efficacy studies for the prevention of COVID-19.

COVID-19 and the FDA

In an interview that will help to explain the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) talks with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D.

The Importance of the Participation of Minorities in Clinical Trials

Participants in clinical trials should represent the patients that will use the medical products. This is often not the case – racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical research.  As COVID-19 is disproportionality affecting communities of color, this is an urgent concern. Read in Spanish.

Experts Answer Important Questions about the Vaccine Clinical Trials 

In case you missed it, NIH Director Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci, along with Moderna President Stephen Hoge, MD, and a volunteer, Robyn, from the phase 1 clinical trial, talked about the patient’s experience in vaccine trials. Robyn shares her reasoning on how, as an African American woman, she decided to participate in the clinical trials.   (Note: the video has some tech difficulties in the beginning).

Donate Blood Plasma and Help Save Lives

HHS released a series of public service announcements (PSAs) and announced a robust ad campaign to implore Americans to donate their plasma and help save lives. If you have recovered from COVID-19 after a confirmed positive test for the virus and have had no symptoms for at least two weeks, find a location to donate plasma.

What We Know About COVID-19’s Effects on Child and Maternal Health

Why does COVID-19 seem to affect children differently than adults? What is the psychosocial impact of the pandemic on our youngsters? Are kids as infectious as adults? Dr. Collins turns to one of the world’s leading child health researchers for answers.

Research at the Intersection of HIV with Substance Use Disorders amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

NIDA and other NIH institutes are using supplementary funds to expand or adapt existing research projects to study the intersection of various health issues with the COVID-19 pandemic.

RFI’s and Community Health News

RFI Innovative Programs to Reconnect Youth to Education and Employment and Promote Self-Sufficiency

HHS has issued a Request for Information (RFI) intended to help identify programs aimed at improving education and employment outcomes for youth who are out of work and out of school, particularly those from lower income families and communities.  Open for comments through Sept. 28, 2020.

RFI on Federal Coordination To Promote Economic Mobility for All Americans

HHS and the Council on Economic Mobility are seeking input on a new federal interagency effort to promote economic mobility for all Americans.  Open for comment until Oct. 2, 2020.

“It’s on Us”: Healthcare’s Unique Position in the Response to Human Trafficking

Part one of a two-part series on human trafficking in rural America. Health services are one of the most common points of access to a lifeline for those actively being trafficked, giving healthcare professionals an advantage to help victims escape.

DHS Webpage Dedicated to the Safety and Security of Houses of Worship

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently launched a new webpage to support efforts that secure houses of worship.  DHS maintains regional offices that include Protective Security Advisors (PSAs), individuals who can assist on a local level to enhance the security at houses of worship.

E- Learning Opportunities, Calls, and Conversations

Spanish-language Webinar: Preventing and Responding to Family Violence During COVID-19

Cuando los Monstruos Viven con Nosotros: Reflexiones sobre el Impacto de la Intersección de las Inequidades Estructurales, el COVID-19 y la Violencia de Pareja en los Niños Pequeños en Familias Latinoamericanas

Tues. Aug. 11, 2020, 1:00 p.m. EDT, Register here 

This webinar will address the intersection of structural inequities, COVID-19 and intimate partner violence, and its impact on young, Hispanic/Latino children. This webinar will be presented in Spanish.

Leveraging the “Secret Sauce” of Relationships to Improve Reentry Outcomes: The Value of Social Capital

Bi-weekly Tuesdays 2-3 p.m. EDT starting Aug. 4, 2020, Register here.

This virtual training series for program managers working with individuals with criminal records aims to offer concrete strategies and examples of ways to develop and foster relationships with this population.

Practical Hope to the Helper: How Faith Communities Can Engage to Prevent Caregiver Burnout

Thurs. Aug. 6, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT, Register here

Whether it be out of fear, stigma, or a need to protect, caregivers who provide for the needs of loved ones with mental illness often shoulder the many and misunderstood challenges that accompany a diagnosis. This webinar is the third in a series highlighting the Center’s recently launched Compassion in Action Guide.

Caring for Rural Veterans

Tues., Aug. 11, 2020, 2:00 p.m. EDT, Register here.

The VA Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative (CFOI) is hosting a webinar for faith and community partners on the care of rural veterans.

Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities

Save the Date! Thurs., Sept. 17, 2020.

HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will host this is virtual symposium to highlight state, tribal, territorial, and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations. Learn more here.

Funding Opportunities

Round Three Solicitation for Farmers to Families Food Box Program

USDA is currently accepting applications for round three of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.  Non-profit and faith-based organizations may apply to be distributors – or may consider partnering with contracted entities which participate.  Helpful information includes the Farmers to Families Food Box Program FAQs and How to Become a USDA Vendor.  Also informational webinars are posted here.

Centers of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities
FG-20-008 – SAMHSA seeks to establish three Centers of Excellence to develop and disseminate training and technical assistance for healthcare practitioners on issues related to addressing behavioral health disparities. Closing date: Aug. 19, 2020.

Previously mentioned:

Deadline for Paycheck Protection Program is August 8, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide direct incentives for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.  New deadline to apply: Aug. 8, 2020.

Community-based Approaches to Strengthening Economic Supports for Working Families

MP-CPI-20-005: This HHS initiative will serve low-income working families disproportionately at risk for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including racial and ethnic minority families. It will seek to determine whether implementation of earned income tax credit (EITC) outreach and education activities in communities at higher risk for ACEs can result in increased EITC receipt and/or changes in risk/protective factors for ACEs.  Closing Date: Aug. 17, 2020.

Department of Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program

FR-6400-N-39: This program provides support to rehabilitate and modify the primary residence of veterans who are low-income and have disabilities. Application Deadline: Aug. 18, 2020.

Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, Ranchers and Veteran Farmers
OPPE-014: USDA is making approx. $15 million available funding to help socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms. The program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement (OPPE). Closing date: Aug. 26, 2020.

USDA: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provides direct relief to agricultural producers, including farmers and ranchers, who have faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. Closing date:  Aug. 28, 2020.

Women’s Preventive Services Initiative

HRSA-21-045: The purpose of HHS’s Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) is to improve women’s health across the lifespan. Closing date: Oct. 5, 2020.

Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP)

HRSA-21-031: The purpose of this program is to support innovative, community-based initiatives to improve the health status of infants, children, adolescents, and families in rural and other underserved communities by increasing their access to preventive care and services. Closing date: Oct. 6, 2020.