NOTE: This story has been corrected to reflect that the grant was for $1 million.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare received a $1 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to raise COVID-19 education and vaccine access.

The grant will assist in boosting low vaccination rates in underserved communities in Memphis and the Mid-South.  

Jonathan Lewis, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Community Partnership Director, said the grant will help put boots on the ground to address vaccination barriers.

“We want to make sure that everyone in the community has access to the vaccine and getting this award from HRSA and the federal government is absolutely going to enable us to expand and strengthen that effort,” Lewis said.

Lewis also said that the grant will help provide training for community health workers with patients inside hospitals as well as health members in the community.

Methodist will be partnering with organizations such the Center for Transforming Communities.

“This grant and this opportunity truly gives us an opportunity to impact and make sure we keep our numbers down and prevalence among our community,” said Fedoria Rugless of Center for Transforming Communities. “We have community workers and we’ll be able to sit down one on one with the residents if they have questions and concerns and connect them directly to resources”

The community grant will help pave the way in saving lives in the fight against COVID and boost low vaccination rates in underserved communities in Memphis and the Mid-South.  

“This grant will give us more resources to make that available to the community. It can and will save lives,” Lewis said.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare says it will also continue its community-wide vaccination awareness campaign which includes social media influencers, billboards, bus placements, and working with the faith-based community.