Last week, the Franklin County Commissioners continued their ongoing investment in public health initiatives for their residents by providing a more-than $1.7 million grant to Franklin County Public Health (FCPH). The grant will support FCPH’s Community Health Improvement Plan, which is a collective impact strategy to identify core health priority areas that impact the health and wellbeing of Franklin County residents and to develop plans to address those community-wide. In addition, the funding will provide for training for FCPH staff, strategic planning, upgraded data and technology infrastructure, and additional resources to bring the agency’s services into the community to meet residents where they are.
“We’ve seen over the past three years how important it is to have a strong public health infrastructure,” said Board of Commissioners President Erica C. Crawley. “The pandemic has been difficult for all of us, but it’s also exacerbated health disparities that already existed in that communities that were already struggling are in even worse shape today. Franklin County Public Health is working to identify those residents and the challenges they face, and put interventions in place to help them get back on track for better health and success in the community.”
Over the course of the pandemic, the commissioners have increased their funding of public health initiatives to unprecedented levels, from funding the 1,000-bed overflow surge hospital
at the convention center to providing additional space for residents in homeless shelters to quarantine, and from purchasing and distributing hundreds of thousands of pieces of PPE to funding community-wide educational campaigns around masking and vaccinations. In 2020, the commissioners also provided funding when they and the health department declared racism to be a public health crisis in order to support a new Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Franklin County Public Health.
“Franklin County has become a leader in the Public Health space in Ohio, and we’re not going to slow down now,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “Too often over the past three years, we’ve seen people here and around the country trying to curtail strong, science-based public health policy and some Americans have suffered because they’re getting bad advice or their local public health agencies aren’t funded well. Here in Franklin County, we’re fortunate enough to have the resources to invest in our residents in this way, and it’s not hard to see the benefits they reap from it.”
The new grant funding is made available via the American Rescue Plan, and will fund additional diversity, equity, and inclusion training for FCPH staff as well as other ongoing professional development. In addition, it will help the agency upgrade its data collection and analytics capabilities and support ongoing strategic planning efforts, fund Stop The Bleed
trainings, and provide grants to support the use of ACEs, the Adverse Childhood Experiences assessment.
“There are so many barriers already standing in the way of success for many of our neighbors, and a lack of basic health information and access to basic care shouldn’t be one of them,” said Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce. “Those are problems for which we have solutions, and we’re excited to be able to partner with Franklin County Public Health in their ongoing mission to address inequities in healthcare and to plan for future public health needs.”
The commissioners’ grant will also allow Franklin County Public Health to procure a mobile vaccination vehicle, an emergency preparedness vehicle, and vehicles for community health experts to use throughout the community as well as supplies for the distribution of Naloxone.
“This historic investment from the Board of Commissioners will enhance critical public health capabilities such as increased data-sharing, communications, and organizational competencies,” said Franklin County Public Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola. “The funding will also improve program accessibility, transparency, and efficiency. We are grateful for the continued support of our county commissioners and county administration as we collectively work to improve the health of our community.”
You can learn more about Franklin County Public Health and its mission and initiatives at MyFCPH.org
. To see how else the commissioners are using the American Rescue Plan to help our community recover from the pandemic, visit Recovery.FranklinCountyOhio.gov