Health Department Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Vaccine Partner Engagement Project

Up to $9 million will be awarded directly to community groups to conduct outreach and increase awareness, confidence and access related to COVID-19 vaccines

May 11, 2021 — Today, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that it is seeking community partners to award up to $9 million in funds to increase vaccine awareness, information, and access. The latest round of support will provide even more opportunities for community and faith-based organizations to engage residents in one of the 33 Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity neighborhoods.

“We know that to build trust in the vaccine, New Yorkers need to hear it’s safe from the people they trust most: their families, friends, and community leaders,” said First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Torian Easterling. “This project will directly fund organizations who are doing this outreach. We look forward to expanding our work with community partners to end this pandemic once and for all.”

The purpose of the project is to develop and implement tailored, accessible, and culturally relevant vaccine messaging, outreach, engagement and one-on-one assistance for New York City communities most impacted by the COVID-19, systemic racism, and disinvestment. Partners will work to boost vaccine confidence, conduct outreach and engagement, and increase awareness in these communities.

Preference will be given to organizations that are physically located in Taskforce neighborhoods, serve the Taskforce neighborhoods with the lowest vaccination rates, have a majority BIPOC staff and leadership, and/or or have a majority of staff and leadership from the neighborhoods or part of the communities served.

The request for partners was issued by the Fund for Public Health in New York City, on behalf of the Health Department’s Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness. Organizations must serve one of the 33 Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity neighborhoods to qualify.

These funds follow earlier rounds of support to engage community-based organizations in the city’s COVID-19 response.

“The Fund for Public Health in New York City is proud to partner with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the City on one of the most important public health initiatives of our 20-year history: to ensure that all New Yorkers, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic, have equitable access to the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines,” says Sara Gardner, executive director, FPHNYC. “We are so incredibly grateful to our philanthropic partners who have helped to support this urgent and important effort, which so far include: Robin Hood Foundation, the Altman Foundation, Target, The New York Community Trust, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and an anonymous donor.”

The project represents the latest effort made by the City to ensure a fair and equitable access to vaccines during its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Other work that community- and faith-based organizations will be leading includes canvassing in neighborhoods with low vaccination rates, engaging communities through community conversations, and making vaccination appointments.

To apply, visit Applicants that wish to be considered for an award must have their applications submitted by June 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

For more information about supporting this work visit



MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue / Victoria Merlino