HARTFORD — The Department of Public Health has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with Access Health CT, a quasi-public state agency, to increase vaccine access in communities high on the social vulnerability index. This partnership will utilize and expand on Access Health CT’s existing outreach infrastructure.
Under this agreement, Access Health CT will amend its current contract with Faneuil, Inc., to support call center services to support the Vaccine Appointment Assist Line and with Grossman Solutions for outreach to raise awareness and encourage individuals across Connecticut to receive any one of the safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.
According to the agreement, the budget for call center support is $5,300,000 and the budget for outreach, including door-to-door canvassing in 10 municipalities, is for a maximum of $2,900,000. DPH is currently in the planning stages with Access Health and job opportunities have been posted to grossmansolutions.applytojob.com. Outreach activities will begin later in the spring, DPH officials said.
The door-to-door canvassing program will focus on knocking on doors in areas of need and getting residents scheduled for a vaccination appointment and will also support the advertising of mobile and pop-up clinics.
This program will be executed with the collaboration of local public health and municipal leadership. Organizers will also work to assist residents in hosting virtual house parties with their friends and neighbors to help ensure residents have the facts about the Covid-19 vaccines and can share their experiences.
“Our continued goal is to ensure that every resident of Connecticut who wants a shot, gets a shot, especially our residents in underserved and vulnerable communities,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford, M.D., MPH. “Access Health CT is a natural partner in this effort, with existing resources, infrastructure and experience in conducting outreach efforts in hard-to-reach, underserved communities.
“Access Health CT is also already a close partner with the state in operating an eligibility call center, and this [agreement] builds on that existing partnership. Soon, we will be able to deploy outreach workers to go door-to-door in our high SVI communities to talk directly with residents about the importance of vaccination, what to expect before during and after vaccination and to assist with information on available local clinics and access to transportation to those clinics.”
“As the Covid-19 public health emergency endures, Access Health CT continues to remain focused on the health and well-being of Connecticut residents,” said James Michel, chief executive officer at Access Health CT. “This means getting the word out about the Covid-19 vaccine to communities statewide that need it most.
“Door-to-door canvassing along with other outreach efforts will help ensure Connecticut residents, especially those hard to reach communities have vaccination facts and resources to enable them to make informed choices about their health.”