Governor McKee announces applications for Pediatric Relief Initiative have opened

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – This Thursday morning, Governor Dan McKee announced that applications for the $7.5 million in funding to help pediatricians impacted by COVID-19.

The program is a part of Governor Dan McKee’s Rhode Island Rebounds Initiative, a 10% investment of the state’s $1.13 billion American Rescue Plan state Fiscal Recovery Funds as a down payment on Rhode Island’s economic recovery.

“It is vital that our state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic includes getting children and youth back on track with their medical and mental health care,” said Governor McKee. “I thank the General Assembly for approving my Administration’s Rhode Island Rebounds proposal and encourage pediatricians to take advantage of this important funding.”

Rhode Island Rebounds will provide $7.5 million in federal funds to ensure all children are up to date with the full array of essential, preventive healthcare services, including developmental, psychosocial, and behavioral screenings. The funding will support the ability to retain staff, extended hours, enhanced community outreach, and help set up additional family supports, such as social workers, to address the crisis and ensure all families are caught up on care.

Because of the public health emergency, many children could not get regular primary care. This has led to delays in routine vaccinations for children, including screenings or other preventive care that ensures healthy development. The state also needed to ensure these resources support COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

“The appropriation of these funds will allow pediatricians to strengthen their practices, improve immunization rates, and overcome COVID-19 related barriers to access,” said Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones. “The social and economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their corresponding effects on the physical and mental health of our state’s children, cannot be overstated. We need to ensure that our pediatricians are best positioned to support the needs of all children and families.”

Pediatricians can learn more and apply on the Executive Office of Health and Human Services website.

Categories: News, Politics, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island