Communities are stronger when all members are heard and everyone has the tools and resources they need to feel and be safe and healthy.
To get started, we’re learning all we can about what communities across the country are doing to stay healthy and protect themselves. We’re searching for practices that work best for helping people feel more confident about choosing vaccines, masks, and other COVID-safe measures. We want to know what helps people who want the vaccine to get it. Our survey is part of this step too. We’re calling this an “environmental scan”.
Next, we’re going to build on what we learn. What works? What did we think might work, but really didn’t? Based on this data, we’re going to take the best practices we can find (and develop some new ones, too!) and bring them to the community through our partnerships with Community Health Workers, Extension Agents, and others. We’ll measure success by keeping track of how often people can get connected to helpful resources, whether people get vaccines, and many other ways. We call this part “implementation”.
We’ll take what works best and package into a toolkit that communities across the country can use right away, and make it available through the CDC Partnering for Vaccine Equity Hub. We call this step “dissemination”.
The foundations of our partnerships are the people who live in the communities we’re working with: older adults, migrant farm workers, LGBTQ communities, construction workers, scientists, teachers, Native Americans, Asian, Hispanic, Black and White populations-all of us! The impact of the pandemic hasn’t been the same for everyone, and our focus is on working with people who have been affected the most due to where they live, the kinds of work they do, or how well the health care system serves–or doesn’t serve–them.
Who is supporting OCOH?
OCOH is made possible through a grant from the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. Linda Cottler, at the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute leads this project, along with researchers at 6 other universities across the United States:
In addition, we are working with Health Literacy Media to put all of our work into plain language.