COVID-19 Community Education Initiative to Advance Health Equity through Education and Outreach

November 12, 2021

The Duke University School of Medicine and Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute are delighted to announce that the following project proposals have been selected to receive $5,000 to build capacity to reach Black and Latinx communities with timely, relevant, and trustworthy information, and other resources to help reduce COVID-19 disparities. This funding initiative is in response to recommendations shared during a series of community conversations held in the spring. Applications were reviewed by a committee composed of 14 community and academic reviewers.

  • Achieving Health Hand in Hand (AHHH) – Dr. Wanda Boone, Together for Resilient Youth (TRY):  This project will see the deployment of  Community Health Workers in Durham, Wake, Hoke, Johnston, Craven, Buncombe, McDowell counties and will focus on promoting vaccine uptake through its “Mask Up/ Vax Up” campaign designed to address unmet meets and misconceptions held by unvaccinated African American residents. This effort will also include outreach to increase the number of "health & vaccine" packets delivered to homeless camps in order to help mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • COVID Communities Overcoming Vaccination Information Distrust – Dr. Ruth Gilliam Phillips, Community Health Coalition: This project will include three COVID-19 testing events in communities identified as underserved and/or marginalized and having the greatest number of unvaccinated individuals. This group will also provide COVID-19 testing kits, and PPE to individuals hesitant to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in identified marginalized communities and will host 2 virtual educational programs focusing on COVID-19 confidence, hesitancy, and knowledge in order to dispel myths and reduce hesitancies while increasing knowledge regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • COVID-19 Proyecto de Concientizacion/Informacion Comunitaria - Edgar Vergara, Iglesia La Semilla: This Project is working to combat myths and misinformation regarding COVID-19 through increasing awareness/education regarding COVID-19 in consultation and with the support of healthcare professionals in order to prevent, treat and vaccinate Hispanic/Latinx community members in the city and county of Durham, North Carolina. This effort will include video, audio, and print materials with contextualized reliable information regarding COVID-19 prevention, treatment, and vaccination and sharing them via social media and traditional media outlets, and in-person interactions with community health workers during COVID-19 canvassing, testing, and vaccination events, as well as through community food distribution events.
  • PEACH: Reaching Unvaccinated Communities Through the Use of Social Data - Kimberlee Wynn, Partnership Effort for the Advancement of Children’s Health (PEACH): This project team will utilize the social vulnerability index to determine areas of low vaccination rates in marginalized populations in Durham, Person, and Granville counties. Community health workers will organize foot patrols in the areas with low vaccination rates, and will distribute PPE and provide pop-up COVID conversations with medical experts. This project will also develop a social media campaign leveraging PhotoVoice to capture the drivers of vaccine uptake in collaboration with faith communities, barber and beauty shops.
  • Reducing Vaccine Hesitancy at an HBCU - Jasmine Benner, Gamma Phi Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma Health Education Honorary, North Carolina Central University: This project seeks to decrease vaccine hesitancy and increase COVID-19 mitigation practices among NCCU students. The team will collaborate with ACCORD, student health, and the campus vaccination clinic to promote and increase vaccinations among college students. NCCU’s Public Health Education Department will host virtual and in-person informational events about COVID-19 and how students can protect themselves and their community against it. Surveys will be used to evaluate the events. Age- and culturally appropriate flyers promoting practicing mitigation strategies will be posted throughout campus and age- and culturally appropriate messages and videos will be posted on social media to promote mitigation practices.
  • Save a Life Campaign-Information Education and Engagement about COVID Among Black & Latinx Communities - Lackisha Freeman, WNCU Radio, North Carolina Central University: Funding will be used to create content that focuses on the coronavirus pandemic, testing, vaccinations and mental health for communities of color. The team will work with AACT+, and others to produce 10 public service announcements, co-sponsor several COVID Conversations, and will host two educational town hall community forums that will be broadcasted on WNCU and its YouTube Channel. The project team will also share COVID expertise with members of Durham’s faith based community through its gospel program.