Senator Van Pelt


SPRINGFIELD – Up to $3.7 million in grants are available for communities outside of Cook County to address and implement COVID-19 health equity strategies, and State Senator Patricia Van Pelt, who chairs the Senate Healthcare Access and Availability committee, is encouraging state organizations to apply.

“COVID-19 has impacted communities across the state in very different ways,” said Van Pelt (D-Chicago). “Classism, racism, and other societal barriers didn’t leave with the pandemic. We must ensure that everyone is recovering from the pandemic equally.”

Activating Relationships in Illinois for Systemic Equity (ARISE) is a joint initiative of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Center for Minority Health Services and The Center for Rural Health, in collaboration with Well-Being and Equity (WE) in the World.

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ARISE intends to support socio-economically disadvantaged and historically marginalized communities outside of Cook County that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Further, organizations will be able to address enduring health inequities in their communities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The selected ARISE Community Equity Zone communities will engage in a rigorous “learning-and-doing” capacity building program to advance health equity in the short, medium, and long term.

Communities will be offered technical assistance and be accompanied by WE in the World to develop and implement a balanced health equity strategy using the newly released Pathways to Population Health Equity framework.

“Because inequity is systemic, we need to be intentional on how to undo its adverse effects,” Van Pelt said. “This initiative will implement a strategy that combats health inequities Illinoisans experienced before, during and eventually after the pandemic.”

Up to 15 community collaborations of three or more partners and their associated local health department will be awarded up to $235,000 to address and to implement a health equity strategy in the context of COVID-19. Up to 25 additional communities will receive $10,000 microgrants to advance health equity.

Applicants are encouraged to attend a series of informational webinar sessions to learn more and to qualify to apply for the grants:

  • May 18, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. CDT - About ARISE and how to build your health equity team
  • May 25, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. CDT - Assessing community needs/identifying community equity zones
  • June 1, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. CDT -  Assessing your community collaboration and preparing to apply

Applications open June 1, 2022, and are due by 5 p.m. CDT on June 27, 2022. For more information contact IDPH Center for Minority Health Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..