• Micro-Grants Helping Vaccinate Underserved Residents
  • Webinar - Safe Sleep: What Does the Data Tell Us?
  • Q&A with A Mother's Hope
Supporting access to quality health care
Foellinger Foundation Partnership:
Micro-Grants Helping Vaccinate Underserved Residents
In partnership with the Foellinger Foundation, the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation is working with 11 grassroots organizations helping to vaccinate Black, Latino, non-English speaking, and other vulnerable residents against COVID-19.

Because COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted these lower-resourced populations, the Foellinger Foundation and St. Joe Foundation are providing rapid-response micro-grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofits, churches, and other organizations to help remove some of the barriers that keep marginalized and underserved people from getting the vaccination.

The effort has involved working with people and organizations, particularly those in southeast Fort Wayne, who are already working with underserved populations, have the trust of the people they serve, know their communities’ needs, and understand what it would take to help the people they serve get vaccinated. Through programming focused on education and awareness, assistance and services such as transportation, scheduling, or translation and interpretation, or anything else that an underserved population might need, the Foundation aims to help organizations make an even larger impact in their respective communities.

To date, the Foundation has awarded $46,252.47 to 11 local organizations that have gone the extra mile to support and protect communities they serve. Below are a few highlights.
  • HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne assembled a task force that organized and carried out a Vaccine Registration Week April 10-17 across Southeast Fort Wayne at various churches, community centers, apartment complexes, barbershops, supermarkets and food banks, and nonprofits where people could get information about the vaccines or register on-the-spot. Some locations offered Spanish and Burmese interpretation services as well as food giveaways.
HealthVisions also produced two PSAs, one featuring community leaders and the other featuring members of the Greater Fort Wayne National Pan-Hellenic Council, to share personal stories and reasons why getting vaccinated is important for Black people.

  • Community Harvest Food Bank participated in the Vaccine Registration Week by having educational resources and vaccine registration opportunities available during its regular Saturday morning food distributions and its Farm Wagon mobile pantry at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Community Harvest worked with Language Services Network, another vaccination assistance grantee, to offer Spanish and Burmese interpreters to assist limited English proficiency attendees with registration while receiving food assistance.
During the events, Community Harvest was able to register 70 people for a vaccine and provide 118 people with informational materials. According to Maia Pfeffer, Community Engagement Coordinator, “Our greatest success was with outreach to the Burmese-speaking community on Saturday, April 17 thanks to Yin Yin Moe, Lin Kyu, and Win Tun from Language Services Network.”

  • Amani Family Services, a local nonprofit organization serving more than 1800 immigrant and refugee families in Allen County, provided information and access to a vaccine in a way that made the families they work with feel safe, understood, and empowered. Amani had information in multiple languages, helped bridge technology gaps by helping people register for a vaccine, and worked with Meijer to host a vaccination clinic at their office so that the families Amani serves could come to a safe and trusted place to be vaccinated. Over 139 people were vaccinated thanks to their efforts.

As the St. Joe Foundation reviews the impact of the initial grants to determine how best to proceed, staff are observing that non-English and limited-English speaking populations are successfully using trusted people, organizations, and “safe sites” to overcome concerns about safety, language, and technology barriers to getting vaccinated. The Foundation also recognizes that transportation remains a barrier to many in the community, and that there will need to be a longer-term education and outreach effort to overcome vaccine hesitancy, particularly among the Black population, due to a history of racism and implicit bias. The St. Joe Foundation will shift its focus to address those observations, while also helping to strengthen the valuable organizations and assets already doing great work in the community. If you would like to join the effort, email Angela Stanley at AStanley@sjchf.org.
Working towards each infant having a safe place to sleep
Prenatal & Infant Care Webinar:
Safe Sleep: What Does the Data Tell Us?
(Open to anyone interested in supporting the healthy development of new families)

Thursday, May 27, 2021
11:30am - 1:00pm

Free Zoom Webinar
Dr. Nancy Swigonski, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Fairbanks School of Public Health, will look at Indiana’s sudden unexpected death statistics, survey data of parent knowledge and behaviors around infant sleep, and some emerging trends in infant sleep-related deaths. Her talk is free, open to the community.

In addition, to Dr. Swigonski, there will also be briefings on other area safe sleep initiatives. This includes presentations from the Parkview Mirro on a safe sleep simulation model; the Early Childhood Alliance on their "Engaging Childcare to Impact Infant Mortality"; and the Prenatal & Infant Care Network's Sleep Safely Campaign.
Instilling hope into everything they do
Grantee Spotlight:
Inspiring Hope: Q&A with Stasia Roth,
Executive Director of A Mother's Hope
Q: How does the work you do inspire hope in those you serve? How does it inspire hope in you and your staff?

A: I like the question about hope because hope is so important to who we are that we put it in our name. If you don’t have hope, there’s no reason to invest your time into anything. We are instilling hope into everything we do. The ultimate goal is that through the services and programming, the mothers will be able to find permanent housing and achieve self-sufficiency. But it’s not just about that. While they’re here we have the huge opportunity to help our mothers see that they are worth the effort. Helping them see that they are capable of becoming self-sufficient, they are worth the effort, and so are their children is all part of our work.
 A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.