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Goshen, N.Y. – The Orange County Health Department (OCDOH) received one of 73 grant awards from the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health as part of a new, two-year initiative to identify and implement best practices for improving health literacy to enhance COVID-19 vaccination and other mitigation practices among underserved populations.
Over the next two years, OCDOH will partner with SUNY Orange and Cornerstone Family Healthcare to develop health literacy plans to increase the availability, acceptability, and use of COVID-19 public health information and services for racial and ethnic minority populations in the Cities of Newburgh and Middletown and their surrounding areas.
“COVID-19 highlighted the existing health disparities among our racial and ethnic minorities in Orange County,” said Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman. “We are grateful to receive this grant to increase the health literacy among our residents and enhance our efforts to reduce COVID-related disparities within these targeted populations.”
Health literacy is a person’s ability to find, understand and use information and services to help them make health-related decisions for themselves and others. Over the next two years, OCDOH will work to achieve the three overarching goals of Healthy People 2030: eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all.
“This critical funding will continue to support our Department of Health’s efforts to provide continued education and information about COVID-19, improve COVID-19 testing, prevention practices and vaccination rates, all while encouraging strong, comprehensive relationships between health care providers and patients,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said.