COVID-19 Health Disparities Initiative
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has awarded funding to 30 organizations throughout Idaho to address COVID-19 related health disparities and advance health equity among high risk, underserved and rural populations.
Click on organization dots in the map to learn more about proposed work and utilize the zoom feature to see clustered awarded organizations within populated areas.
Health and social inequities have contributed to increased burden of COVID-19 among underserved communities and racial and ethnic minority groups, resulting in disproportionate rates of disease and inequitable access to testing, treatment and vaccination opportunities. The pandemic and resulting economic crisis have also created hardships for many individuals and families who continue to struggle to make ends meet.
To address these concerns, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has awarded funding to 30 organizations throughout the state. Each awarded organization is working on unique activities that fall under four broad goals:
Provide education, assistance, and support to mitigate risks, transmission, and long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 as it relates to social determinant of health needs of underserved, high risk populations.
Provide education, assistance, and support to mitigate impacts, risk, and transmission of COVID-19 and encourage vaccination and testing among migrant and seasonal farm workers.
Convene and facilitate multi-sector partnerships to support and address mental and behavioral health needs of school-aged children and youth illuminated by COVID-19.
Fund Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and Rural Health Clinics (RHC) for COVID-19 support and response.
Funding is available through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, CDC-RFA-OT21-2103, CFDA #93.391.
The following brief descriptions highlight work proposed by each awarded organization. Activities are scheduled to be complete by June 30, 2022.
African Community Development
African Community Development will work with the African refugee community and partner organizations to build trust in the healthcare system, provide education at vaccine clinics, interpreter services and translation of COVID-19 educational materials and website content.
Bear Lake Memorial Hospital will provide staff for free COVID-19 screening and testing for the community.
Benewah Community Hospital will strengthen efforts to reduce the risk and transmission of COVID-19 through educational newspaper articles and advertisements within Benewah County. COVID-19 home kits will also be distributed to families through local schools, as well as to patients within remote areas to provide better home self-monitoring and relieve pressure on critical access hospital capacity.
Bingham Memorial Hospital will strengthen partnerships and increase access to quality, affordable care for Hispanic community members through culturally and linguistically appropriate services and information.
Boise State University in partnership with St. Luke’s Health System will identify youth mental and behavioral health needs through a school-based survey. Results will inform community meetings designed to develop action steps to address youth mental health needs.
Bonner General Health will increase access to COVID-19 testing. The hospital will also decrease the risk of transmission by implementing a vital sign monitoring project.
Boundary Community Hospital will increase access to testing by providing supplies to partner organizations and schools. BCH will also create educational materials for COVID-19 prevention.
Family Health Services will conduct a messaging and advertising campaign to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates and increase awareness of prevention services.
Health West will develop and distribute various forms of informational outreach materials in Spanish and English to boost vaccination rates and reduce COVID-19 incidences.
The Idaho Immunization Coalition will provide programming and events to increase knowledge of community resources including access to COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
The Idaho Resilience Project will convene and facilitate multi-sector partnerships to support and address mental and behavioral health needs of school-aged children, youth, and families illuminated by COVID-19, specifically in communities that are under-resourced and lack access to behavioral health support.
Idaho State University will offer testing, screening, contact tracing as well as behavioral health and education services for college students and the surrounding community.
Idaho State University will work with community health workers and primary care providers to mitigate health care access and service disparities for people with disabilities.
Intermountain Fair Housing Council will develop a housing is healthcare campaign including a guide and digital resources on COVID-19 and fair housing law translated into multiple languages and distributed to diverse populations.
International Rescue Committee will support mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics traveling to refugee housing with education and information from trusted sources.
League of Idaho Cities will increase the number of Mayor’s Youth Advisory Councils in Idaho cities and will offer training events and presentations to provide education, assistance, and support to reduce the stigma of mental health issues, reduce youth drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide.
Marimn Health will incorporate COVID-19 community outreach, education, monitoring, testing and referrals into wellness activities.
NAMI will offer evidence-based trainings to support mental illness recovery and care for families of children under 13 with mental illness. They will also launch school and youth support groups on college campuses, high schools, and in partnership with youth service organizations.
The Pocatello Free Clinic will increase their organizational capacity by updating policies and procedures, implementing workforce development trainings, and expanded community outreach.
Potlatch School District will provide rapid self-test kits to students or staff members who present with flu like symptoms.
Recovery coaches will provide information about vaccinations and COVID-19 transmission. Coaches will also support clients impacted by the economic and social stressors of COVID-19 through discussions and referrals to available resources.
Saint Alphonsus will expand capacity of providers with youth and adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Signs of Suicide (SOS) trainings.
St. Luke’s will improve case management and mental health for COVID-19 patients and community members through Community Health Workers. Community resilience will be strengthened through conflict resolution education for residents, medical staff, and parents and Youth Mental Health First Aid training will be provided for teachers, students, and community members. Vaccine education and promotion efforts will also be offered.
The YMCA will support the health and safety of employees and clients including those who are medically vulnerable through regular testing of unvaccinated staff and provision of vaccine education.
The United Way of Treasure Valley will integrate FindHelpIdaho.org as a navigation and closed loop referral tool in schools statewide to connect children and families to existing community resources.
The University of Idaho will develop county-level data modeling and an interactive web-based dashboard with COVID-19 indicator data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
Voices Against Violence (VAV) will continue to provide case management and safe activities for survivors of domestic violence including services for youth.
Willow Center will provide support groups for kids, teens, young adults, and adults addressing grief related mental health needs.
Wellness Tree Clinic will build relationships and provide COVID-19 vaccine education and outreach to high-risk patients and migrant and seasonal farm workers.
WICHC will develop a regional data dashboard covering the ten-county area within southwest and central district health. The dashboard will include social determinant of health needs within each community along with COVID-19 data and resources. WICHC will also evaluate the effectiveness of the collective impact model approach in reducing health disparities.
Josh Lamansky, Project Manager
COVID-19 Health Disparities Grant