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Beacon Health receives grants for COVID-19 vaccination outreach to Hispanic, Black and Amish residents

Beacon Health has received $4.8 million in grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to provide education and services that are focused on increasing COVID-19 vaccinations rates among Hispanic, Black and Amish residents of Elkhart, St. Joseph, LaPorte and Marshall counties.

Collaborating with Saint Joseph Health System and a number of community partners, including universities, social service agencies and public health departments, community outreach workers will be mobilized and trained to educate, motivate and facilitate access to COVID vaccinations.

Through this partnership, funding will be deployed to the Beacon Community Impact team and Saint Joseph Community Health and Wellbeing to operate mobile vaccine clinics. The Beacon Community Impact team will also hire additional non-clinical, bilingual community health workers and create 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 cases and fatality rates that are more dramatic in these counties than the rest of Indiana.

“One lesson we’ve learned during the pandemic is that trusted voices within communities are the best way to overcome vaccine hesitancy, correct misinformation and connect people with healthcare providers,” said Kreg Gruber, Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Health System. “Beacon’s long-standing partnerships in our communities make possible the rapid, effective deployment of education and access to services to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and protect the health of our community.”

The website CovidSmart.org has recently been launched that includes COVID-19 vaccine facts, vaccine 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 vaccine clinics and local testing site information.

“While COVID-19 numbers are trending in a direction that we are all excited to see, we want to be certain that everyone has the opportunity to make educated and informed decisions about vaccination,” said Kimberly Green Reeves, Director of Community Outreach, Beacon Health System. “We all must continue to do our part to remain healthy in our communities. It is important that we remain vigilant, especially now.”

Michelle Peters, Vice President, Community Health and Well-Being, Saint Joseph Health System, added, “We are ‘Called to Care’ for our community. We listen, we partner and we make it easy. Our partnership with Beacon allows us to do just that by providing COVID vaccinations throughout the region to complement educational efforts.”

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This resource is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $999.575.61 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

This resource is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3,787,528 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

 

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Director of Communications. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.