Beacon Health System receives COVID-19 vaccine grant extension
(WNDU) - Beacon Health System has been granted an extension to continue COVID-19 vaccination outreach activities.
An extended grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will help pay for mobile vaccine clinics. It will also pay to hire more bilingual workers.
Beacon Health System has gotten just under $4.8 million in grants since last April. That money has held over 200 outreach events and vaccine clinics, and it has vaccinated over 3,000 people.
Press release from Beacon Health System:
Beacon Health System has been granted an extension to continue COVID-19 vaccination outreach activities that began under $4.8 million in grants last spring from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
This extension will allow Beacon Health and its community partners to continue to provide valuable education and services focused on increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates among Hispanic, Black and Amish residents of Elkhart, St. Joseph, LaPorte and Marshall counties through July 2023.
“We are so very fortunate to have received this grant extension so we can continue to provide COVID-19 outreach education about how to stay safe and healthy,” said Kimberly Green Reeves, Beacon’s Director of Community Outreach. “Our community initiatives are essential in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important we continue to remain vigilant to protect the health of our community.”
Since receiving federal funding in April, Beacon has collaborated with Saint Joseph Health System and a number of community partners, including universities, social service agencies and public health departments to mobilize and train community outreach workers.
The Beacon Community Impact team and Saint Joseph Community Health and Well-Being will continue to deploy grant funding to operate mobile vaccine clinics across the region. Since April, these teams have held more than 234 outreach events, 221 vaccine clinics and vaccinated more than 3,334 members of our community.
Beacon Community Impact will also continue hiring additional nonclinical, bilingual community health workers and creating education and outreach efforts to educate people about the safety, effectiveness and availability of vaccines. These initiatives are aimed at reducing the disparities in vaccination rates, COVID-19 cases and fatality rates that are more dramatic in these counties than other parts of Indiana.
“We are ‘Called to care’ for our community. Our continued partnership with Beacon Health System allows us to provide COVID vaccinations throughout the region and in our neighborhoods to complement educational efforts,” said Michelle Peters, Vice President, Community Health and Well-Being, Saint Joseph Health System.
The website CovidSmart.org will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccine facts, educational materials in English and Spanish and video stories from local residents who were vaccine hesitant and had a change of heart. The site also offers a calendar of COVID-19 vaccine clinics and local testing site information.
“More recently, we have seen an increase in the number of community members receiving their first COVID-19 vaccination. This is always exciting for us because it means another person is protected,” Green Reeves said. “We want community members to understand that there is still a risk and vaccination is still the safest form of protection. It is important to remain on this path so we can continue to uplift the health of the community.”
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