Governor Walz Highlights Partnerships with Community Organizations to Connect Minnesotans with COVID-19 Vaccine
ST. PAUL, MN] – Today, Governor Tim Walz joined community leaders at Shiloh Temple International Ministries to highlight that the State has partnered with more than 30 community-based organizations to help connect Minnesotans with the COVID-19 vaccine. As COVID-19 Community Coordinators, these partners will work with the State to ensure people in Minnesota have access to the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector and other COVID-19 information specific to their communities, including in multiple languages.
“Last week, we announced the roll-out of the Vaccine Connector – a tool to help Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their vaccine,” said Governor Walz. “I’m thrilled that we have invested in organizations on the ground to help connect Minnesota’s diverse communities with the vaccine. We are committed to making it as easy as possible for Minnesotans from every community to get the vaccine when it’s their turn.”
“We know many communities, including BIPOC communities, face barriers to accessing the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Trusted organizations like these are deeply embedded in their communities and play a vital role in ensuring that folks in every community feel connected to our vaccine network and know how to get vaccinated safely and confidently.”
COVID-19 Community Coordinators work directly with communities hit hardest by COVID-19, including communities of color, American Indian communities, LGBTQ+ communities, and Minnesotans with disabilities. In addition to connecting them to vaccines, they continue to help community members find critical resources to address the impacts of COVID-19, such as employment, food access, housing, child care, and legal rights.
The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) COVID Community Coordinators initiative contracts with 19 culturally specific organizations to serve African American, African immigrant, American Indian, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, and LGBTQ communities in Minnesota. MDH is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to contract with disabilities-centered community based organizations. MDH is also partnering with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Refugee and Immigrant Resettlement Network to contract with refugee service agencies across the state. To find a COVID Community Coordinator visit: https://www.health.state.mn.us/ccc.
The organizations include:
· African Career, Education Resources, Inc. (ACER)
· African Immigrant Community Services (AICS)
· American Indian Community Housing Organization
· Briva Health
· CAPI USA
· Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES)
· Comunidades Organizando el Poder y la Acción Latina (COPAL)
· Cultural Wellness Center
· Department of Indian Work – Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul
· Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER)
· Hmong American Partnership
· Islamic Association of North America
· JustUs Health
· Northwest Indian Community Development Center
· Phyllis Wheatley Community Center
· Stairstep Foundation
· Tserha Aryam Kidist Selassie (TAKS)
· Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota
· WellShare International
· BLIND, Inc.
· Lighthouse Center for Vital Living
· Vision Loss Resources
· Access North Center for Independent Living of Northeastern Minnesota
· Independent Lifestyles
· Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL)
· Options: Interstate Resource Center for Independent Living (IRCIL)
· Southeastern Minnesota Center for Independent Living (SEMCIL)
· Southern Minnesota Independent Living Enterprises & Services (SMILES)
· MN Department of Human Services (DHS) Refugee and Immigrant Resettlement Network
Additionally, MDH is partnering with many experienced and trusted diverse media vendors and community organizations in Minnesota as part of the State’s public health response to COVID-19. These contracts play a key role in ensuring that all Minnesotans – including residents from communities of color, American Indian residents, LGBTQ residents, and residents with limited English proficiency – have access to needed, culturally relevant resources and have the opportunity to be fully informed with culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, accurate, and timely messages related to COVID-19.