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Beacon Health System receives COVID-19 vaccination outreach grant extension

Beacon Health System has been granted an extension to continue COVID-19 vaccination outreach activities that began under a $4.8 million grant last spring from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

This grant extension will allow Beacon 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.”

 

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 R.J. Pales

R.J. Pales is a Media Relations Specialist for Beacon Health System. He enjoys reading literary classics, acoustic guitar music and all things Mediterranean cuisine.