FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A CDC grant will provide funding to train 50 community healthcare workers to battle the pandemic. These workers will be multilingual to help people whose primary language is Spanish or Marshallese along with rural Arkansans.

The $6 million grant will last three years, and it will go between UAMS Northwest and Benton County, with Washington County also receiving part of the grant. The workers will help people navigate the healthcare process, including signing up for appointments and utilizing resources.

“These community healthcare workers will work alongside community members at a grassroots level to help them prevent disease,” said Pearl McElfish, UAMS Northwest’s Vice Chancellor.

The workers will also help in the fight against diabetes and other health issues, McElfish said.

“This is one more part of our effort to help end the COVID-19 pandemic,” McElfish said.

Benton Co. Judge Barry Moehring said once trained, the workers won’t be relegated to one county. Instead, they’ll assist in both Washington and Benton Counties.

“The whole point is to reach communities in need that perhaps we haven’t reached out to in the past,” Moehring said. “This puts the proverbial boots on the ground to help with public health so it really is an extension of our partnership with UAMS.”