The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) is partnering with the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) to fight the coronavirus in minority communities.

According to a press release, HHS has granted MSM $40 million for The National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19, a three-year initiative designed as a response to racial inequities in healthcare. The aim is to work with community-based organizations to deliver information, healthcare, testing, and other resources to residents in communities “hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Additionally, new joint efforts by both institutions will strengthen the strategies by which this data is passed.

“Underlying social determinants of health and disparate burdens of chronic medical conditions are contributing to worse COVID-19-related outcomes in minority and socially vulnerable communities, and this partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine is essential to improving our overall response,” said Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D. “We’ve made important strides over the past few months in fighting the pandemic, and with Morehouse School of Medicine as our partner, we are ready to advance our efforts to support our most affected communities.”

Reports show that minorities are the most vulnerable groups of people for this virus, especially the Black community. Plus, with a surge in cases, according to CNN, the hope is that this newly developed network will help reduce health inequities.

“We know the power of partnerships to help us solve our most pressing public health challenges,” said U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “This initiative has at its core the community-based organizations who know their people best and who are committed to working collaboratively to reduce health-inequities and make them healthy and safe.”

The NIMIC initiative will begin in July and the first award is for $14.6 million.