This month and into October HHS is recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month with resources from the Office of Minority Health (in English and Spanish).   Also, our friends at the Office of Hispanic Ministries of the Baptist General Convention of Texas hosted the webinar, Familias Saludables: COVID-19 and Flu Prevention, featuring Spanish speaking health experts from the CDC.   Please share the recording with your Spanish speaking communities and stay tuned for additional resources.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about the information contained in this email and please stay safe.

HHS Community Health News

HHS Takes Action on National Healthcare Plan

Last week the Administration unveiled its America First healthcare plan aimed at delivering Americans better care, lower costs, and more choice. As part of the plan they:

National Sickle Cell Awareness Month 2020

The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is raising awareness about sickle cell disease (SCD) and the growing challenges COVID-19 has had on the SCD community. Visit the OMH Sickle Cell Disease website for materials, videos, and information regarding the latest advances and resources.

COVID-19 Related News and Updates

Fourth Large-Scale COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Begins in the United States

NIH announced that Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine entered Phase 3 of their clinical trial. This is the 4th vaccine to enter Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S.  The trial is designed to evaluate if the investigational Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (JNJ-78436725) can prevent symptomatic COVID-19 after a single dose regimen. Up to 60,000 volunteers will be enrolled in the trial at nearly 215 clinical research sites in the United States and internationally. Enrollment diversity in the trials is crucial. You and community members can volunteer here.  (Sé un voluntario)

Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic

CDC released an MMWR on the Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S. between May and August, 2020. A key finding is that during June–August 2020, COVID-19 incidence was highest in persons aged 20–29 years, who accounted for >20% of all confirmed cases. Strict adherence to community mitigation strategies and personal preventive behaviors by younger adults is needed to help reduce infection and subsequent transmission to persons at higher risk for severe illness.

Update on Vaccine Research From the Experts

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci teamed up to give an update on NIH COVID-19 research.

Senate HELP Hearing/Update on the Federal Response to COVID-19

Dr. Fauci also joined CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Brett Giroir, and FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn to testify in front of the Senate HELP Committee and provide an update on the federal response to COVID-19.

Administration Announces $200 million from CDC to Jurisdictions for COVID-19 Vaccine Preparedness

HHS is announcing upcoming action by the CDC to provide $200 million to jurisdictions for COVID-19 vaccine preparedness.

NIH Expands Clinical Trials to Test Convalescent Plasma Against COVID-19

Preliminary observational studies indicate that convalescent plasma may improve outcomes among severely ill and hospitalized patients with COVID-19.  Two randomized, placebo-controlled NIH funded clinical trials are expanding enrollment to further evaluate convalescent plasma as a treatment for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Flu Vaccine Finder and the Race to 200M Campaign

Getting vaccinated to fight flu can save lives and conserve healthcare resources for COVID-19 patients and others struggling with severe illnesses. Find where to get a flu vaccination here. Also learn about The American Nurses Association’s Race to 200M campaign designed to ignite urgency around flu vaccination.

E- Learning Opportunities

Launch of 6 Part Webinar Series: Spirituality and Mental Health

Tues.,  Sept. 29, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT, Register here

Research demonstrates that spirituality and religious belief can be a protective factor in the prevention of, and recovery from, mental illness.  Learn more about programs that have translated this research into action and the importance of providing spiritual support for the clinicians themselves.  Join us tomorrow for the first webinar in the series Spirituality in Treatment: Systemic Treatment Models Bridging Faith and Mental Health Professionals.

ONDCP #RecoveryChat

Wed., Sept. 30, 2020, 3 – 4:00 p.m. EDT, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) hosts this Twitter chat on all things recovery from substance use disorder. Use #RecoveryChat to ask questions and speak with experts from ONDCP, Shatterproof, Young People in Recovery, the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, the Global Recovery Initiatives, and Faces and Voices of Recovery.

Coronavirus Scams, Older Adults, & Financial Protection

Thurs., Oct. 8, 2020, 11:00 a.m.- 12 p.m. EDT – Register here.

Join federal experts who will provide an overview of coronavirus-related scams targeting older adults, share resources to help older adults avoid financial distress due to the pandemic, and discuss the role of the aging network, including Adult Protective Services, legal services attorneys and Long-term Care Ombudsman program experts.

Workforce Development and Jobs

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Availability of $40 Million To Address Rural Healthcare Workforce Shortages

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of up to $40 million in funding in the Rural Healthcare Grant Program to address rural healthcare workforce shortages

through investments in successful, employer-driven training models and community partnerships to establish sustainable programs. Read the Press Release here. Closing date: Nov. 13, 2020

October’s HRSA Virtual Job Fair

Wed., Oct. 7, 6:45 p.m. EDT, Register here.

The HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) virtual job fair connects healthcare sites with job-seeking primary care trainees and practicing clinicians. HRSA invites medical, nursing, dental, and mental/behavioral health clinicians and trainees to attend, and learn about hundreds of opportunities.

HUD Jobs Plus Initiative

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) supports initiatives that improve employment outcomes through job placement, education, technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. Closing date: Dec. 1, 2020.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS Updates

CMS Issues Urgent Call to Action Following Drastic Decline in Care for Children in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

CMS released preliminary data revealing that rates for vaccinations, primary, and preventive services among children in Medicaid and CHIP have steeply declined during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  For more information read the Fact Sheet and the Preliminary Medicaid & CHIP Data Snapshot released for review.

CMS Announces New Federal Funding for 33 States to Support Transitioning Individuals from Nursing Homes to the Community

CMS announced the availability of up to $165 million in supplemental funding to states currently operating Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration programs. This funding will help state Medicaid programs facilitate efforts to transition individuals with disabilities and older adults from institutions and nursing facilities to home and community-based settings of their choosing.

Let’s Talk About Recovery — Resources from NIDA

In acknowledgment of National Recovery Month, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released the following resources to help jumpstart a dialogue with your community and family members.

Conversation Starter: MTV “16 and Recovering” Series

MTV premiered a new four-part docu-series,“16 and Recovering,” spotlighting stories from teens at Northshore Recovery High School in Massachusetts.  The program can be a  conversation starter for parents, caregivers, and educators to help teens realize they’re not alone or different—and that the disease of addiction is treatable.

Words Matter: Preferred Language for Talking About Addiction

NIDA’s preferred language guide helps de-stigmatize conversations about drug use and addiction using person-first, non-judgmental language. Additional information may be found on and

NIDA’s Step by Step Guides to Finding Treatment for Drug Use Disorders
This series of publications is filled with resources and information to help you or someone you care about who might have a drug use disorder, including a guide specifically written for young people.

Teens Ask: “Is There a Cure for Addiction?”

During National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, teens often ask about a cure for addiction. In this blog post for teens, experts explain that while there may not be a cure, there is treatment that helps people live full, healthy lives.

NIAAA: Ask 10 Recommended Questions

These questions, outlined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), will help you learn whether a substance use disorder treatment provider offers higher-quality treatment and is a good fit for your situation. Here is the link to NIAAA’s tool for recognizing quality care.

Grants and Other Annoucements

Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Programs for Community-Based Organizations

The CDC supports the development and implementation of high-impact HIV prevention programs, including PrEP and nPEP services. Closing date: Nov. 20, 2020.

Fostering Innovative Research to Improve Mental Health Outcomes Among Minority and Health Disparities Populations

NOT-MH-20-073 — The National Institute of Mental Health seeks time-sensitive input from all interested parties on the most innovative research and research priorities to improve mental health outcomes among racial/ethnic minority and health disparities populations. Learn more hereResponse date: Oct. 30, 2020.

Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) Program

Forecasted HHS-2021-ACF-ACYF-SR-1927– SRAE funds programs for youth which exclusively implement education in sexual risk avoidance (defined as voluntarily refraining from non-marital sexual activity).  Programs also teach youth the benefits associated with self-regulation, success sequencing for poverty prevention, healthy relationships, goal setting, and resisting sexual coercion, dating violence, and other youth risk behaviors such as underage drinking or illicit drug use without normalizing teen sexual activity. Est. Post date Feb. 24, 2021. Est. Closing date: April 25, 2021

Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Competitive Grants
Forecasted HHS-2021-ACF-ACYF-AK-1929 Department of Health and Human ServicesPersonal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) funds education programs to youth that must teach both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy.  Est. Post date March 21, 2021. Est. Closing date: May 20, 2021.