• Super Shot: Fewer childhood vaccines given
  • Healthier Moms & Babies: Inspired support for dads
  • Video: COVID-19 and pregnancy
  • HEAL: Puts vegetables and fruits in WIC families' hands
  • Biases causing maternal and infant deaths
  • Upcoming grant deadline: September 1
Investing in our community
Super Shot clients have access to vaccines that can protect against 14 different diseases
Grantee Story: Super Shot
Fewer childhood vaccines have been given
during the COVID-19 pandemic
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation has been a significant sponsor of Super Shot for over twenty years to help ensure that every child in Allen County has a shot at a healthier start to life.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that many, many children have missed receiving important immunizations to protect them against diseases like measles, meningitis, and whooping cough. In Indiana, there were 137,000 fewer doses, or a 46.61% decrease, in children’s immunizations during the month of May 2020. Locally, Super Shot saw a 54% reduction in doses administered in May 2020 compared to May 2019. According to Connie Heflin, Executive Director of Super Shot, "This is very worrisome. We don't want any more disease outbreaks."

Super Shot, as a leading provider of immunizations in Allen County and the State of Indiana, must now plan for the “catch-up” of missed immunizations due to COVID-19 and the upcoming flu season. Health experts advise the influenza vaccine will be important in reducing the impact of respiratory illness and the resulting added burden to the healthcare system. Everyone six months and older should be vaccinated.

Super Shot has taken many precautions to ensure the safety of their patients. They are now spreading out appointments, limiting one parent to one child being vaccinated, requiring face masks, checking the temperature of everyone coming in the door, moving families to a cleaned exam room as soon as they check in, and limiting the time in their facility through expedited paperwork.

Super Shot’s mission is to provide access to immunizations regardless of the ability to pay. They serve Medicaid, uninsured, and underinsured children, and are now able to take most commercial insurance plans. Call 260-424-SHOT (7468) or email info@supershot.org to make an appointment. Daytime, evening and weekend appointments available at their new office at 1515 Hobson Road, Fort Wayne.
Promoting the dignity of all people
Gregg Smith-Causey is a father in southeast Fort Wayne
and Supervisor of the Healthier Moms and Babies' DadUp Fatherhood Program
Grantee spotlight: Healthier Moms and Babies
Infant mortality rates in Southeast reveal health gaps in Fort Wayne and inspire support for fathers
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation was a founding sponsor of Healthier Moms and Babies in 1994. A recent article by On the Ground, a new initiative of Input Fort Wayne to highlight stories and voices of under-served populations on the southeast side of Fort Wayne, and also sponsored by the St. Joe Foundation, highlights the great work of community leaders on the southeast side.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matters movement hit cities simultaneously in 2020, Americans have been waking up to health disparities in their communities related to race.

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics reports that as of June 12, age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization rates are five times higher for Black patients as compared to white patients. On top of that, Black people are dying from COVID-19 at a rate two and one-half times higher than white people.

But while these numbers may be new evidence of the health gap, it’s not the first evidence that exists.

“One of the most stark racial disparities between Black and white Americans is in maternal and fetal mortality,” the Markkula Center says. “It is also one of the better-studied areas of health disparity, and may offer some insights not only into why the disparities exist, but what needs to be done to bring justice to the system and to society.”
Supporting the health of pregnant women
St. Joe Foundation and Prenatal & Infant Care Network Advisor Dr. Lora Overton, DO, OB-GYN (right) teamed up with Healthier Moms & Babies Programs Manager Jackie Martinez (left) to create an eight-minute PSA for pregnant women of color to learn the critical facts.
Foundation Update:
Pregnancy and COVID-19
Black Americans and Latinos have been hit hard by COVID-19, with infections and deaths far surpassing their share of the population. As of August 4, the CDC reported that 15,754 pregnant women in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19. More troubling, a disproportionate share of the pregnant women, 59%, were women of color. According to St. Joe Foundation Executive Director, Meg Distler, "We are concerned that more pregnant women need to hear the facts from people whom they can trust who are also professional women of color."
Improving access to food and nutrition
Thomas Kelsaw and Jered Blanchard of Purdue Fort Wayne Extension provide "double up coupons" matching the values of WIC, SNAP, and Senior Vouchers at the HEAL Southside Market
Foundation Update:
HEAL partnership with WIC
puts vegetables and fruits in families' hands
Each year, the Women, Infants, and Children's Program (WIC) distributes farm stand vouchers to help their families access fresh, nutritious produce. In Allen County, Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) teamed up with the WIC Office to make it easier for families to acquire and use their produce vouchers. WIC staff actually join the HEAL team at the farm markets in July to distribute vouchers next to the farmers' produce to make it easy for WIC families to "one-stop-shop".

“What HEAL and WIC have accomplished by partnering to serve our WIC families is unprecedented in the country," announced Legita Wilson, WIC Program Coordinator of the Indiana Dept. of Health as part of her message at the annual Farmers Market Forum meeting last March.

By July 31, 2020, the WIC office had distributed 2,480 produce vouchers, equaling $19,840. By mid August, HEAL markets had doubled the value of $16,632 worth of the $8 produce vouchers for WIC families. Local WIC Director Tiann Aughinbaugh explains, “Partnering with HEAL Markets has provided over a 50% increase in redeeming of WIC’s farmers market vouchers over past years. This means we are truly providing a great service to the community and getting fresh fruit/vegetables into the hands of our clients.”

This year, Purdue Extension and HealthVisions Midwest are managing the HEAL Markets. Purdue Extension runs the cashier table, exchanges vouchers, and tracks transactions. HealthVisions Midwest has taken over the operations of the markets and is on site to assist farmers, customers, and volunteers. The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Parkview Health (HEAL co-sponsors) continue to be on site as well with volunteers to help with mask distribution, water, and personal shopping.

One HEAL market customer at the Parkview Greenhouse and Learning Kitchen location commented, “I can’t believe I got three bags full of produce for $20. This market is great! What a blessing for the community.”

HEAL Markets continue through September at McCormick Place and Parkview Greenhouse, and through October at Southside Market. Stop by and leave with fresh corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cabbage, watermelon, and more!
McCormick Place
3005 McCormick Ave.
Parkview Greenhouse and Learning Kitchen
1716 Beacon St.
Southside Farmers Market
3300 Warsaw St.
Promoting the dignity of all people
Foundation update:
Training events to address biases
causing maternal and infant deaths
In 2018, Black infants in northeast Indiana were 2.2 times more likely to die before their first birthday than white infants. Black mothers had the highest rate of pregnancy-related mortality at 37.0 deaths per 100,000 live births in Indiana for 2012-2016, compared to the national rate of 16.9, according to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). Extensive research exists, cited by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and in the StateofBabies.org, revealing that unconscious bias by many health care providers is one of the factors leading to health disparities.

To assist care providers and community members in identifying and eliminating bias, the St. Joe Foundation will sponsor two training events facilitated by Aaron and Janel Lane, Cofounders of Courageous Living, Fort Wayne, Indiana on Race and Cultural Learning for Care Providers on September 2 and 15. The St. Joe Foundation is also offering scholarship seats for the newly developed March of Dimes' Breaking Through Bias in Maternity Care online, self-paced learning modules beginning in September. For more information on these training opportunities and other resources for prenatal and infant care providers, visit the St. Joe Foundation website at: https://sjchf.org/programs/pic-network/
Responding to community needs with grants
Grantees: A Hope Center (left) and Women's Care Center (right)
Foundation update:
Fall grants deadline: September 1
The St. Joe Foundation is again seeking proposals to improve the health and wellness of low-income, vulnerable populations in Allen County. Grant applications must advance the vision of the St. Joe Foundation in one of the four key impact areas: pregnant women and infants; refugees and immigrants; those struggling with access to affordable, nutritious food; and access to quality, affordable healthcare for unresourced populations in Allen County, Indiana. Grant applicants are encouraged to become acquainted with the impact areas by visiting the website or clicking below on "What We Fund." Ideas can also be discussed with Foundation staff to affirm compatibility. The fall application deadline is September 1, 2020.
 A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.