The National Institutes of Health announced on November 23 that UMKC has been selected to receive 1.9 million in grant funding through the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program. The funds are earmarked to improve COVID-19 testing among underserved and vulnerable communities. The RADx-UP program is part of the RADx initiative, which U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Missouri) and Lamar Alexander (Tennesse.) proposed in April.
Sen. Blut released a statement on the funding, stating that it will help to ensure “testing is available and utilized where it’s needed most, especially among underserved and vulnerable populations. From the outset of this pandemic, we have worked to ensure funding was available to respond to the unique needs local communities face. “
UMKC is currently working with local churches to expand testing options in underserved areas of the metro.
“By working with 16 churches, which are trusted institutions in the African American community, we will greatly expand COVID-19 testing opportunities and access to care in low-income areas of Kansas City,” said Jannette Berkley-Patton, director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute and a professor at the School of Medicine in an interview with the Kansas City Star.