Mayor Gavin Buckley
Public Information Office
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Media Contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or firstname.lastname@example.org
City Announces Health Equity Program Launch for Outreach into Communities Hardest Hit by COVID-19
ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 24, 2020) –The City of Annapolis is launching a health equity program “Take Care Annapolis,” to help with health education and outreach into communities that have been hit hard by COVID-19.
Locally, about 70 percent of the known cases in Annapolis are among people identified as Hispanic (who make up about 20 percent of the population). Nationally, Hispanics are testing positive for COVID-19 at a rate four times that of whites while African Americans are testing positive at a rate five times that of whites.
Combined with generations of inequity in health care access, the pandemic has worse outcomes that are specific to two communities: African Americans and Hispanics. The impact is not only felt within families with the loss of lives, but also the economic toll that it is taking on our community.
“If we don’t fix these health outcomes for everybody, we don’t fix it,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “We have designed this program to reach into to communities to begin solving the problem.”
With CARES Act funding of $56,000, the City is launching a program to take health education and healthcare access to residents in areas of the City that have been hit hard by COVID-19.
THE PROGRAM: The City will hire two coordinators and eight outreach workers (four African-American outreach and four Hispanic outreach). Priority hiring will be given to those who have some healthcare training, even if that training or work experience was in another country. The Hispanic outreach workers must speak Spanish. Both coordinators and outreach workers will work about 20 hours per week. Funding will also cover printing of materials and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to maintain worker safety.
After three days of training, the coordinators will dispatch the outreach specialists to communities for events, food drives, door-to-door and other outreach efforts. The goals will be to educate the public, to connect residents to health resources, to reduce stigma and fear and to seek better health care outcomes for those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Community partners include: Anne Arundel Medical Center for training; George Washington University will help with messaging and outreach; Center of Help, Organization of Hispanics and Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County (OHLA), and Casa de Maryland, who will help with Hispanic outreach; The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis; Grandmere’s Touch; Street Angel Project; People Builders; Community Transitions; Anne Arundel County Department of Health; and others.
The program begins this week with job announcements. The program is slated to last for 20 weeks.
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