New grants to help UF Health Jacksonville continue the fight against COVID-19

UF Health Jacksonville has received three important grants from local, state and national organizations to help Northeast Florida continue its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

UF Health Jacksonville has collectively received more than $1.6 million in grants to provide testing, vaccinations, health literacy and other initiatives surrounding COVID-19. The grants have been awarded to UF Health Jacksonville from the City of Jacksonville through the Department of Health and Human Services, the Florida Department of Health in Duval County through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and the Jesse Ball duPont Fund.

“Even though we appear to have gotten through the worst of the pandemic, what we need to realize as a community, and as a country, is the virus is still out there, so it’s imperative that we continue to focus on how to fight it,” said Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, MHSA, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. “These grants will help us do that, and we are incredibly grateful to these organizations for funding these efforts.”

The new funding includes:

  • A two-year grant from the CDC of $1.25 million was awarded to UF Health Jacksonville through the Florida Department of Health in Duval County to address COVID-19-related health disparities and advance health equity by expanding capacity and services to communities disproportionately affected.
  • A grant from the HHS was steered to UF Health Jacksonville by the City of Jacksonville, which is providing $300,000 over two years to support the identification of effective approaches to improving health literacy around COVID-19 including the prevention and spread of the virus.
  • A grant from the Jesse Ball duPont Fund is providing $107,000 for COVID-19 education, with the goal of addressing vaccine hesitancy by providing evidenced-based information on the efficacy, safety and importance of getting vaccinated.

“We are honored to be part of these three initiatives that will continue to help us bring important, in some cases life-saving, resources to Northeast Florida,” said Ann-Marie Knight, MHA, FACHE, vice president of Community Engagement and chief diversity officer for UF Health Jacksonville. “One of the focuses of our mission is to eliminate health disparities, and we think we can reach that goal through recovery, resilience and restoration for members of the community.”

UF Health Jacksonville is now coordinating efforts with other organizations throughout the region to bring resources to the community, including food distribution, vaccine education and administration, transportation and more.