Saint Anthony Hospital Rolls Out Vaccine Education Program to West, Southwest Chicago

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Courtesy of Saint Anthony

Saint Anthony Hospital started vaccinating eligible patients and community members in Tier 1B with a goal of vaccinating at least 1000 patients per week, but serving predominantly Latino and African American communities comes with more challenges in recruiting people due to more trust issues or access, so they wanted to take a more strategic in-person approach.

Saint Anthony Hospital believes that direct community advocacy and education is key to a successful vaccination program, impacting communities who have been dramatically affected by COVID-19.  It is an opportunity to help overcome some of the fear, as well as clear up a lot of misinformation circulating through social media and word of mouth.  The majority of communication and access to appointments is happening online, which is not always as accessible for many individuals, especially seniors or essential workers that do not have the time. 

We felt that one-on-one, in-person conversations may be more effective and helpful to people still hesitant or simply less informed about the vaccine and their access to getting it.  Up to 100 community members will be recruited for this program and will be engaging with people at public locations including grocery stores and churches, as well as partnering with local organizations to reach their respective clients. 

“Saint Anthony is focused on having contact in person to create trust and ensuring that it is the least privileged and neediest people who receive the vaccine and keep them safe.  More than ever personal contact is important and necessary.  For my community it also shows interest and respect,” Jacqeline Ortiz, Health Educator and resident of Little Village.

In addition to educating residents about the vaccine, the outreach team will also be able to schedule appointments for a vaccine at Saint Anthony Hospital right there and then to make it as convenient as possible.  “We hope that Saint Anthony Hospital’s longstanding relationship with the community might help overcome some of the clinical trust barriers,” said Guy A. Medaglia, President and CEO of Saint Anthony Hospital, “and allow us the opportunity to provide information and answer questions so members of the community feel informed, safe and confident in taking this proactive step for their health.”

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