SECTION 1. Chapter 111N of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:–
Section 7. (a) The office shall, subject to appropriation, administer a community-based agency disparities reduction grant program. The grants shall support efforts by community-based agencies to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among predominantly underserved populations, including efforts addressing social factors integral to such disparities. Grants shall be awarded following a competitive application process. In awarding grants, the office shall give priority to programs replicable by other community-based agencies. Grants shall be provided to a broad range of agencies that support diverse communities throughout the state. No community-based agency may receive more than one grant concurrently. All grants shall include an evaluation component.
(b) The program shall provide grants to community-based agencies and non-profit community organizations to address key disparities issues including but not limited to: the social and economic barriers that impact health outcomes, the development of a diverse healthcare workforce across wide range of healthcare professions, increasing the access, utilization and quality of healthcare services, and supporting community health workers to facilitate the use of health and human services
(c) For the purposes of this section, a “community-based agency” shall include agencies that provide direct services, education, or support to underserved populations, including community health centers and hospitals, social service organizations, community nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, faith based organizations and other non-governmental agencies and other organizations as defined by the office.
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