Chief Marketing and External Affairs Officer
California Allocates $41 Million to Support Monkeypox Response
Over the weekend, California lawmakers reached an agreement to allocate an additional $41 million to support the state’s response to the monkeypox virus (MPV) outbreak. This new funding will provide the California Department of Public Health and local health departments with desperately needed resources to expand outreach and education, distribute vaccines, and improve access to testing and treatment.
Importantly, the emergency budget allocation will include additional funding – roughly $1.5 million – for community health centers to administer vaccines to eligible patients and community members. APLA Health to date has administered over 2,000 doses of the MPV vaccine, but has yet to receive any specific funding to support these efforts. Health centers have and will continue to be key partners in reaching many of the most vulnerable and underserved members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly Black and Latino gay and bisexual men and transgender people.
The call for additional funding was spearheaded by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and 10 other members of the California Legislature. Senator Wiener was recently appointed chair the Senate Select Committee on Monkeypox and has provided invaluable leadership as the state confronts this growing public health crisis. Earlier this month, APLA Health was proud to lead a group of over 50 organizations in sending a letter to Governor Newsom and legislative leaders in support of this emergency funding request.
While our work is far from over, the $41 million investment will go a long way toward improving the state’s MPV response and helping to ensure equitable access to vaccines, testing, and treatment. We are incredibly grateful to Governor Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), and Senate and Assembly Budget Committee Chairs, Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), for standing with the LGBTQ+ community during this difficult time and supporting the vital work of community health centers.
APLA Health will continue calling on lawmakers at all levels of government to address the MPV outbreak with the urgency and attention it deserves.
ABOUT APLA HEALTH:
APLA Health restores dignity and trust within underserved communities by providing world-class LGBTQ+ empowering healthcare, support services, and HIV specialty care. Since 1983, APLA Health has remained steadfast in its commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our lifetime. The agency is a multi-site operation includes eight Federally Qualified health Center (FQHC) locations, serving more than 18,000 people annually in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous. We provide 20 different services including: medical, dental, behavioral health and HIV specialty care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home healthcare; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impact the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information on APLA Health visit https://aplahealth.org.