Monthly Roundup
Community Health News and Resources for Researchers, Practitioners, and Policymakers in the United States
Welcome back!

Thank you for your continued interest in the CommuniVax coalition! As the coalition enters its second phase, we will transition our focus from COVID-19 vaccination to broader community health and health equity concerns among populations in the United States that have been especially hard-hit by the ongoing pandemic. 

In that spirit, this newsletter (now monthly) will share updates from our local teams in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; San Diego, California; and Prince George's County, Maryland. We will also highlight news items covering COVID-19 vaccination developments in the U.S., as well as relevant community health-focused funding opportunities, events, and other resources.

As always, be sure to check out our suite of tools, reports, and resources at Thanks for reading!

Local Team Updates
Coming in late 2022, the Maryland Center for Health Equity is publishing a series of short storybooks telling the stories of relatable characters navigating the many trying aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These stories are connected through a local barbershop and beauty salon where characters have a safe space to voice thoughts and opinions. Written by two up-and-coming artists, the stories express the complex emotional responses that the pandemic has elicited in many communities.
COVID-19 Vaccination News
People Are Getting COVID Shots Despite Hesitation. The studies cut through toxic public discourse about the vaccine and focus on a significant group that is often overlooked by researchers, policy makers and the media: so-called hesitant adopters. Such people get vaccinated and report afterward that they felt some degree of hesitation about doing so. (Scientific American, 3/10/22)
The Pandemic Tanked Rates of Childhood Vaccination—for Everything. The drop-off had no single cause. Lockdowns, of course—both families and kids stayed home, and medical offices and school clinics closed for their own protection. But also, health care workers who might have handled well-child visits were reassigned to Covid-shot delivery instead. There were protective equipment shortages. Supply chain disruptions. Misinformation and disinformation that increased suspicion of vaccines. Every social factor that dented the pandemic response had a shadow effect on all the other vaccines that needed to be delivered as well(Wired, 3/2/22)

The White House says it's running out of money to cover COVID tests and vaccines. It's one of several immediate impacts after Congress declined to add $22.5 billion in funding to a broad government spending bill passed last week. President Biden signed the bill into law on Tuesday, hailing it as a bipartisan achievement without mentioning the lack of COVID-19 funding(NPR, 3/15/22)
Racial and Ethnic, Gender Disparities Seen in LGBT COVID-19 Vaccination Rates. Compared with heterosexual adults, a greater proportion of gay and lesbian adults reported having received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to a report on results from a nationally representative telephone survey. By race and ethnicity, however, vaccination rates were lowest among Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, particularly women.(JAMA, 3/8/22)
Funding Opportunities
Strengthening U.S. Public Health Infrastructure, Workforce, and Data Systems. This funding is a first of its kind, non-categorical and cross-cutting programs, intended to help meet critical infrastructure and workforce needs in the short-term; and it should also make possible strategic investments that will have lasting effects on public health agencies across the United States. To that end, it will support strategically strengthening public health capacity and systems related to the workforce, foundational capabilities, data modernization, physical infrastructure and support from national public health partners. (, 2/18/22)
Research Grants on Improving the Use of Research Evidence. This program supports research on strategies to improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit young people ages 5-25 in the United States. We want to know what it takes to produce useful research evidence, what it takes to get research used, and what happens when research is used(William T. Grant Foundation, 3/22)
Spencer Foundation - Small Research Grants Program. The Small Research Grants Program supports education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived, with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to five years. We accept applications three times per year. (Spencer Foundation, 3/22)
Strengthening the Population & Public Health Workforce Pipeline. The activities supported by this funding opportunity seek to develop a capable and qualified workforce able to assess and respond to public health needs effectively(, 3/22)
Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the availability of funds to develop multi-sector action plans that address the social determinants of health (SDOH) by accelerating action in state, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions, and communities that lead to improved chronic health conditions among Americans experiencing health disparities and inequality(, 3/9/22)
Community Innovations for Racial Equity 2022. Community Innovations for Racial Equity is an 18-month program available for up to ten eligible BIPOC-led CDCs motivated to engage healthcare partners to advance racial equity. A priority will be given to rural, tribal, and small- to mid-size communities that have been marginalized and have had less access to resources. Selected organizations will be awarded up to $40,000 to support staff or a consultant to lead healthcare engagement, $60,000 of in-kind technical support provided by the BHPN, and facilitated connections to a national network of peer support(Build Healthy Places Network, 3/22)
Community Health Grants. The Community Health Grant program offers grants of up to $20,000 for translational research conducted by academic and community organizations/programs or physician practices that improve outcomes in children, adults, and/or the community. (Center for Clinical & Translational Science and Training, 3/22)
Community Health
Building Public Trust in Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR) Science: A Workshop. Workshop discussants and participants will collaboratively generate actionable strategies and approaches to (re)build and maintain trust across this continuum, across stakeholders, across levels of the system (federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local), and across emergency types. The workshop will take place on March 29 and 30, 2022, 10 AM - 3 PM ET(National Academies, 3/29/22)
Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS). The goal of this program is to catalyze, develop, and evaluate community-driven, health equity structural interventions that leverage multisectoral partnerships to advance health equity and facilitate and implement a cross-IC framework for health equity structural intervention research. (NIH, 3/22)
Resources for Effective COVID-19 Vaccine Communication. This toolkit focuses on engaging people who have been unable or have been hesitant to become fully vaccinated. (National League of Cities, 10/21)
Tracking COVID’s Impact on the Latino Community: Resource Toolkit for Media + Public Use. This toolkit evolved from The Latino Cancer Institute’s March 2021 Media Series Reporting from the Frontlines of a Pandemic. These pages include a rich array of sources, resources, COVID-19 data, news, and invaluable links. This document is intended to inform the media’s reporting and provide assets for Latino communities designing solutions to pandemic impacts, vaccine uptake and recovery(The Latino Cancer Institute, 11/21)
How Do Health Departments Create Regulations, Policies & Guidance Documents? This training explores how administrative law shapes day-to-day work in state and local health departments. Agencies engage in a broad range of regulatory activities — from making laws to implementing and enforcing them — and many areas of public health practice are, in fact, specialized fields of administrative law. The breadth of these activities makes understanding administrative law essential for all public health practitioners(Change Lab Solutions, 3/22)
This newsletter supports CommuniVax, a research coalition convened by the
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Texas State University Department of Anthropology,
with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and The Rockefeller Foundation.