(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration is partnering with Health Equity Solutions on an outreach program to ensure the state makes contact with as many people as possible with information about the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly among communities that have historically been disproportionately impacted in access to health care.
The nonprofit organization, which is based in Hartford, advocates and promotes policies, programs, and practices that result in equitable health care access, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
Under the partnership, Health Equity Solutions has developed a plan to reach over 10,000 people of color living in Connecticut over a three-month span to share facts and dispel myths about the COVID-19 vaccine. It will focus on faith-based and education-based networks to reach the widest audiences throughout Connecticut, and in particular will address issues concerning distrust of the medical system within the African-American community.
“This partnership is paramount to our broader efforts to ensure that we reach every single person we can, particularly in our communities of color,” Governor Lamont said. “The team at Health Equity Solutions and their community partnerships have a track record of proven success, and we’re excited to work with them during this unprecedented time to bring information to those who need it most.”
“COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted underserved communities, particularly the Black and Latino communities in Connecticut,” Acting Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “We want to ensure that communities at highest risk have equitable access to the vaccines that will protect them and allow everyone to return to a sense of normalcy. The team at Health Equity Solutions will strengthen and enhance our outreach efforts in the Black and Latino communities.”
“It was incredibly important to me that Health Equity Solutions not only identify the challenges to health equity but that we become a part of the solution,” Dr. Tekisha Dwan Everette, executive director of Health Equity Solutions, said. “We wish there was not a pandemic at all, but we are ready, willing, and able to make sure that people have accurate information to make a timely decision that is best for themselves and their family.”
“Our communities have been underserved and sometimes abused by the health system in this country,” Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber, President of the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention, said. “Houses of faith are citadels of trust in Black communities. It makes sense for us to step up and help our communities understand the vaccine, and to learn to trust the health care system.”
Health Equity Solutions has already started its work to reach community members and has been hosting webinars that have reached over 3,000 people. There are more than 20 future events already on the calendar, and more are in the process of being added.
Those interested in hosting an outreach event for faith or education-based organizations can email [email protected] for more information.