NEW CASTLE, Del. – Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, co-chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus, and County Executive Matt Meyer (both D-Del.) joined community partners at a swearing-in ceremony for members of the National Health Corps at the New Castle County Government Center here. Seven Delaware-based National Health Corps members took the AmeriCorps pledge, including Nancy Arellano, Constance Glay, Aliyah Gwathney, Jennifer Ruebush, Penelope Velasco, Veronica Villalobos, and Valeria Yarborough.
"The National Health Corps is a proven nationwide model for how to address basic public health in a systematic, well-measured, well-executed way," Sen. Coons said. "The folks at New Castle County, who know what it means to be essential workers and first responders and be engaged in meeting public health crises and public safety issues, are the perfect partners for this expansion. Congratulations to the newest Health Corps members, and thank you to County Executive Meyer, the people at New Castle County Government, and the National Health Corps for making possible this pilot program."
"These new members of the pilot program of National Health Corps Delaware will help us achieve three critical goals: provide a robust public health response, protect our most vulnerable, and will help us build back better," County Executive Meyer said. "I am thankful for Sen. Coons' partnership on this project, the community partners where the members will work, and I am excited about the potential of this program."
New Castle County is piloting the expansion of the National Health Corps in Delaware. National Health Corps is an AmeriCorps National Direct program whose mission is to increase access to health care to underserved communities, promote health, reduce health care costs and develop new health professionals.
Founded in 1994 and administered by the Health Federation of Philadelphia, the NHC has members serving at sites to include Chicago, New York, North Florida, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. NHC members serve at local sites such as community health centers, health departments, schools, and community-based public health organizations.
New Castle County will operate this pilot using federal CARES Act funds, and member activities will focus on ongoing COVID-19 response, including vaccine programs and addressing health inequities associated with the pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan includes a further $1 billion for AmeriCorps to build on work like that being undertaken by New Castle County and the National Health Corps.
For more information about NHC in Delaware, visit nationalhealthcorps.org/site/delaware.