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Community Health Worker Initiative

Indiana Health Equity Community Health Worker Model Program

According to the February 2022 Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) Coronavirus Vaccination Dashboard, approximately 9 million doses of the vaccine have been administered. Yet only 3.6 million Hoosiers have reported being fully vaccinated. There’s still a wide-ranging amount of vaccine hesitancy remains in Indiana. If we are to be successful in tailoring our vaccination distribution programs to those most in need, it is imperative that the community be involved in program development from beginning to end.

Even though we have had success in getting vaccines in arms, there is still the issue of vaccine hesitancy among our most vulnerable populations nationally and in Indiana. If we are to be successful in tailoring our vaccination distribution programs to those most in need, the community must be involved in the process from beginning to end. We must address the apprehensions and concerns of individuals and communities.

The Community Health Worker Model is ideal for addressing vaccine hesitancy. In this model, Community Health Workers (CHWs) will assist communities and individuals that are underserved and/or face structural barriers to navigating health challenges and utilizing health systems. District Health Equity CHWs will identify and convene other CHWs, and community influencers affiliated with community-based organizations (CBOs). The District CHWs will form health equity councils. The purpose of the District HEC is for knowledge and data sharing as well as for identifying needs and pain points. The District HEC will be allotted community engagement funds that will help address the unique needs of each community. This means that there may be future funding opportunities for the CBOs involved in these HECs.

Goal: Identify and address state district needs, foster communication, and synergy, and ultimately, evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of statewide efforts through the Indiana Health Equity Council CHW Model.

Model: Building a network of shared knowledge and collaboration. This model involves having a least 1 District Health Equity Community Health Worker in each of the preparedness districts.

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Health Equity: Build sustainable District Health Equity Councils. The District Health Equity Community Health Workers will work with local CBOS and coalitions to address Covid-19 vaccine hesitancies among underserved and vulnerable populations. Districts will be allotted community engagement funds to address district unique needs. CHWs are looking to collaborate and come alongside health equity efforts to eliminate health disparities and properly navigate through health systems.

District HEC Community Health Workers (see OMH organizational chart for contact info)

Community Health Worker Engagement Coordinator Shamika Crowder, CCHW

District 1: Karina Buenavides, CCHW

District 2: Celeste Fonseca

District 3: Carliss Harrison, CCHW

District 4: Latrice Ligon

District 5: Lance Boozer

District 6: Olunda Hunt, CCHW

District 7: Seeking CHW

District 8: Seeking CHW

District 9: Seeking CHW

District 10: Seeking CHW

Objectives: Sustain relationships among organizations and COVID-19-related health equity efforts in communities disproportionately impacted by health disparities. Identify (needs assessment) and address state district COVID-19-related health equity needs by describing the implementation, relationship, and COVID-19-related health equity outcomes.

Partners: INCHWA (Indiana Community Health Worker Association) and Purdue University