Benioff Community Health Outreach Worker Model
Considerations for Vaccine Ambassador Programs
Resource Topic: Clinical Issues, Emerging Issues, Special and Vulnerable Populations
Resource Subtopic: COVID-19, Health Equity, Community, Health, and Housing Partnerships, Programs and Services.
Keywords: Communication, Transparency, and Outreach, Community Health Workers, Hiring, Immunization, Outreach, Persons Experiencing Homelessness, Team-Based Care.
Year Developed: 2021
Resource Type: Publication
Primary Audience: Administrative Staff
Secondary Audience: Outreach Staff
Sponsored by: National Health Care for the Homeless Council
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
(See other resources developed by this organization).
In collaboration with
Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative.
Resource Summary: This brief describes the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative's cross-discipline program model that peered medical teams with Community Health and Outreach workers to inform vaccine ambassador programs.
Resource Details: As communities embark on COVID-19 vaccine campaigns, they are confronting a long history of discrimination and negative encounters with medical services that people experiencing homelessness and racial and ethnic minority groups often experienced. In order to address the distrust of the medical community and encourage testing among people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative (Benioff) developed a cross-discipline program model early during the pandemic that paired medical teams with community health outreach workers (CHOWs). They estimate that by combining CHOWs—who had lived expertise of homelessness and the neighborhoods in which they were working—with encampment proximal testing sites and incentives, they more than doubled the individuals who were willing to be tested. This brief outlines key lessons learned from the CHOW model that are applicable to local Vaccine Ambassador programs.