Meharry Medical College to use $8 million dollar grant for underserved communities

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) – The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting communities of color especially hard and highlighted long-known health disparities.

Meharry Medical College is getting an $8 million dollar grant from the state to help address this issue in Nashville.

The money is going towards the Center for Health Policy’s BRIDGE to Success Program. It partners with Metro schools in three zip codes serving North Nashville (37218, 37208, and 37189) to help promote health and wellness for children and families.

“One of the things the center looking at right now is the disparities of COVID-19 particularly for people of color and what can we do to address this issue. We know that contact tracing is going to be vitally important and the engagement of our community in terms of testing. Meharry has done an exceptional job of going out to ensure communities of color are being tested The Center for Health Policy is playing a very active role in working on these issues,” said Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, Executive Director of the Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Samuels said a study found one of the zip codes they serve had among the highest incarceration rates in the country. The plan to use the grant money towards education, health, and well being, economic support, and social capital.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

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