PHI’s Together Toward Health Recognized for Vaccine Equity Partnerships by California Governor Gavin Newsom
PHI’s Together Toward Health is featured in State of California Social Innovation: 2021 Impact Report, which highlights the state’s innovative equity-based approaches and partnerships to tackling high priority challenges such as addressing COVID-19, supporting immigrant families, and fighting homelessness.
Together Toward Health is a joint program with major California philanthropic organizations, which supports more than 500 community-based organizations statewide who serve as trusted experts for COVID-19 education, testing and vaccination access in their communities.Read the report
Partnering on the Ground with Communities for COVID-19 Vaccine Equity & Outreach
When the COVID-19 vaccine began rolling out in early 2021, Governor Newsom launched an all-hands-on-deck approach to vaccinate the state’s most vulnerable communities. Recognizing the key role that trusted messengers play at the local level, the state formed partnerships with California Community Foundation, PHI’s Together Toward Health (TTH) initiative and Sierra Health Foundation’s Vaccine Equity Campaign to provide direct appointment assistance, at-home vaccinations and transportation services, and targeted community outreach.
By resourcing and working directly with existing community-based organizations and networks, these efforts have put community needs and solutions at the center—developing hundreds of innovative, culturally competent initiatives throughout the state to reach vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color.
To date, these partnerships have funded and mobilized over 700 community-based organizations across the state to reach 14 million Californians, and have contributed to California’s standing, consistently, throughout this year as having among the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates in the country.
Thanks to PHI’s Together Toward Health:
- TODEC Legal Center leaned into the trust it has build over decades of serving immigrants in the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley, tapping into its 311 youth, organizers and volunteers to support outreach for farmworkers, who have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. PHI’s Together Toward Health enabled TODEC to host pop-up clinics in the fields that vaccinated as many as 250 workers in a single day, and administered vaccines during workers’ shifts to avoid lost wagers. As one farm manager described, “I’m very grateful that this group came out here to give us information about the virus and vaccine. As farm workers we sometimes go home to work and back and don’t have time to listen to the news.”
- In the Central Valley, Leadership Council for Justice and Accountability (LCJA), in partnership with local public health leaders, enabled over 3,000 San Joaquin Valley residents to register for the vaccine and engaged trusted community messengers to conduct door-to-door canvassing to over 10,000 homes. To ensure accessibility, LCJA offered bilingual registration services, hosted mobile clinics and also incorporated on-site food distribution and other services to support communities in need. LCJA is a Together Toward Health grantee.
- With over 30 years of experience engaging youth and doing community outreach, Day One Pasadena was an integral part of this effort. “We recognized early on [in the pandemic] that youth really craved a sense of normalcy, so we hosted a series of virtual and outdoor events that helped them feel connected, active and engaged,” says Christy Zamani, Executive Director of Day One. Throughout the year, Day One kept busy leveraging these events to inform and resource their community—one of their most successful outreach strategies included facilitating 42 neighborhood pop-ups at local laundromats and grocery stores to meet people where they’re at. This enabled the team to connect with over 1,500 people that received information and support in accessing vaccinations and other much needed resources during the pandemic.
- Virginia Hendrick, Executive Director of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH) has worked closely with native communities to increase vaccinations through practices that respect, reflect, engage and celebrate native cultures and art across the state. “Together Toward Health has added so much value by bringing us together, to be able to hear what folks are doing across the state, we’re learning from each other and problem-solving right away.”
Together Toward Health: Supporting Communities Through COVID-19 and Beyond
Guided by equity, Together Toward Health is supporting education, awareness and outreach to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, increase vaccine awareness and uptake, and provide workforce development strategies to strengthen economic resilience.
By connecting over 500 community-based organizations to essential infrastructure and providing workforce development opportunities, Together Toward Health is laying the foundation for a strong community-public health platform to support resilient communities beyond the pandemic.