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Advancing Health Center and School Partnerships to Improve COVID-19 Vaccination Administration for Adolescents

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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

Language: English

Sponsored by: National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Developed by: 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.

This project 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 $6,625,000 with 0 percentage 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.