On July 22, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded nearly $100 million to over 1,980 CMS-certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) through the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Vaccine Confidence Grant Program (RHCVC) to enhance vaccine outreach efforts in rural communities. As part of this work, HRSA awarded NOSORH a cooperative agreement to lead the technical assistance to the participating RHCs. NOSORH works closely with the National Association of Rural Health Clinics, the technical assistance lead for the RHC COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program. Collaboration between HRSA and these organizations ensures RHCs receive coordinated technical assistance to support their COVID-19 response.

The RHCVC grant program aims to positively impact health outcomes in rural areas by reinforcing messaging on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. RHCs may also use the funding to improve general health literacy, focusing on vaccine safety and the benefits of broad vaccination for rural communities.

HRSA is making grant awards to RHCs based on the number of certified clinic sites they operate, providing approximately $49,500 per clinic site. Funding was made available by the American Rescue Plan and is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA/FORHP).