HARTFORD–U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.-03) and Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.-05) announced on Tuesday that Middletown’s Community Health Center and Waterbury’s Health360 will receive $4,749,240 in Public Health AmeriCorps funding from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism.

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. Underpinned 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 while also creating pathways to public health-related careers for members who reflect the communities they serve.

“This $4.7 million from the American Rescue Plan is going to help build the next generation of public health workers in our state and ensure more people in Middletown and Waterbury can access physical and mental health services. National service programs like AmeriCorps are all about giving back and strengthening our communities, and I’m proud to support the important work they do in our state,” said Murphy.

“These fund awards mark a solid investment in overcoming Connecticut’s severe healthcare worker shortage. Our state needs many more of these healthcare heroes who serve and sacrifice unstintingly every day. Not only 100 workers now, but a next generation going forward, will be trained and sustained by these grants. I’m proud to be an ally and supporter of these brave, skilled professionals as they deliver lifesaving care to our state,” said Blumenthal.

“I am glad to see this continued investment to support public service efforts here in Connecticut,” said DeLauro. “With this funding, we will train a new generation of public health leaders who will be on the frontline, ready to respond to our public health needs in our state and communities. This will strengthen our preparedness for future public health events, create pathways to quality public health careers, and vitally, help advance more equitable health outcomes in underserved communities. This is about making our communities healthier – and I am proud to support Public Health AmeriCorps in its efforts.”

“The mental health crisis continues to inundate the healthcare system making the need for a trained workforce more urgent than ever. In Connecticut, an estimated 160,000 adults did not get the mental health care they needed in 2021. Thanks to Public Health AmeriCorps funding, Health360, Inc. in Waterbury, will receive over $4.3 million to help develop a pipeline of health care professionals prepared to serve the people of Connecticut. With this federal investment, communities often unable to access essential mental health care will gain an expanded public health workforce to advance more equitable health outcomes for all,” said Hayes.

Individual awards are listed below:

Community Health Center: $432,000 for Healthy Communities; 15 AmeriCorps members will participate in various activities related to outreach, education, linkage to care, retention in care, COVID-19 vaccination, and engagement in healthcare and support services across community-based sites in Connecticut. AmeriCorps members will support increased health knowledge and improve access to care among individuals in the communities served.

Health360: $4,317,240 for Healthy Minds Alliance; 150 AmeriCorps members will implement select mental health gatekeeper trainings that increase the ability of laypeople to identify and support people with mental illness in organizations across the nation that demonstrate need via an annual competitive application process

In addition to the grants announced today, AmeriCorps also will provide more than $1,137,675 each year in education scholarships for members who are supported by this award to help pay for college, vocational training or pay back student loans.

Grantees are actively recruiting adults of all backgrounds to serve in Public Health AmeriCorps. There are opportunities to serve through a variety of full- and part-time positions. Members may be eligible to receive a living allowance, professional development, health and childcare support and an education award. Those interested in joining Public Health AmeriCorps can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/PublicHealth.