STATEMENT OF NEED The District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health) aims to close health literacy (HL) gaps, particularly among Black/African American residents (45.4%) and Limited English Proficient populations (5.7%), critical to improving COVID-19 outcomes, and sustainability beyond. Background & Contributing?Factors: An analysis of 51-statistical neighborhood (51-SN) demonstrated the underlying drivers of differential health opportunities by income, place, and race. A racial dissimilarity index (score of 70.9 underscored the extent of racial and economic segregation. A 21-year difference in life expectancy at birth, is correlated with inequity across nine key drivers (social and structural determinants), and persistent, disproportionate health outcomes, that negatively affect Black and Brown populations and neighborhoods.? COVID-19 Disproportionate Impact on Populations & Geographic?Areas:? Cumulative incidence, mapped to 51-SN, shows differential rates and spread. Highest incidence rates occurred proximal to immigrant communities and correlated with the highest infection rates among Latinx residents, associated with occupation and housing circumstances. Rates and patterns of illness, such as hospitalizations and recovery vs. deaths, varied substantially by race and place. Black/African American residents experienced 49% of cases vs. 75% of deaths, while Hispanic/Latinx and non-Hispanic (NH) White residents made up 21% of cases vs. 11% of deaths and 26% of cases vs. 10% of deaths, respectively. Most deaths occurred in the 60+ age range and geographically concentrated to the east/southeast, where the eastern-most neighborhood experienced cumulative mortality, twice the city-wide rate. PROPOSED APPROACH DC Health plans to build a comprehensive, people-centered population health literacy model by leveraging COVID-19 response collaborations to build the infrastructure for sustainable health system (HS) and community-based o
rganization (CBO) capacity to support individual and community health literacy. DC Health will convene multi-sectoral partners to drive and operationalize a citywide Health Literacy Plan to include assessment of organizational use of health literacy best practices; design of health literacy resources (i.e. Health Literacy Learning Support Portal, curricula and toolkits); training for HS and CBO workforces on best practices for using culturally, linguistically appropriate public health messages to improve COVID-19 testing and vaccination rates; and measurement of individual indicators of health literacy related to patient-provider communication.