Using Results Count to Enhance Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Posted July 19, 2021
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Black male, smiling, with his shirt sleeve up about his shoulder, showing off a bandage on his arm.

A key com­po­nent of Results Count®, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s unique approach to lead­er­ship devel­op­ment, is acquir­ing the con­fi­dence and skills nec­es­sary to have dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions about struc­tur­al racism with col­leagues and part­ners. Rachel Walk­er, a project man­ag­er with Urban Strate­gies, Inc. (USI), recent­ly applied what she learned from Results Count to help boost equi­table access to COVID-19 vac­cines in under­served com­mu­ni­ties through­out Miami.

A Part­ner With a Proposal

USIa Results Count hub — uses the lead­er­ship frame­work through­out their orga­ni­za­tion and with­in the social sec­tor. Walk­er over­sees the nonprofit’s efforts to revi­tal­ize a series of town­homes and apart­ments in the Lib­er­ty City neigh­bor­hood of Mia­mi. By col­lab­o­rat­ing close­ly with fam­i­lies — and enlist­ing the right gov­ern­ment and non­prof­its agen­cies — she works to help res­i­dents secure sta­ble hous­ing and enhance eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty, edu­ca­tion and health out­comes for the community.

In ear­ly 2021, one of USI’s long-stand­ing part­ners in Mia­mi — Aet­na Bet­ter Health of Flori­da, a CVS Health com­pa­ny — reached out to Walk­er about increas­ing the avail­abil­i­ty of COVID-19 vac­cines to the city’s Black and Lati­no com­mu­ni­ties. Part of Aetna’s vac­cine pro­mo­tion strat­e­gy involved using orga­ni­za­tions like USI to lever­age their role as a trust­ed com­mu­ni­ty mes­sen­ger and refer res­i­dents to CVS phar­ma­cies for inoculations. 

Before I respond, let me dig a lit­tle deep­er and see where the clos­est CVS is,” Walk­er recalls saying. 

Sure enough — despite the near­ly 150 CVS phar­ma­cies in Mia­mi-Dade Coun­ty — Walk­er could not find a sin­gle one near her work in Lib­er­ty City. She told Aet­na that, while USI was inter­est­ed in col­lab­o­rat­ing, trans­porta­tion bar­ri­ers for res­i­dents would make such a part­ner­ship difficult.

Nor­mal­ly, such a con­ver­sa­tion would be hard for me,” says Walk­er, who also par­tic­i­pates in the third cohort of Casey’s Results Count Prac­ti­tion­ers Pro­gram, which strength­ens lead­ers’ abil­i­ty to advance equi­table out­comes for chil­dren and fam­i­lies. The Results Count approach has helped me to not be fear­ful or appre­hen­sive about hav­ing the con­ver­sa­tions that I need to have, espe­cial­ly when it comes to equi­table results.”

Vac­cine Dis­tri­b­u­tion as Part of Com­mu­ni­ty Well-Being

CVS Health heard Walker’s con­cern and, with sup­port from Aet­na, devel­oped a solu­tion. The com­pa­ny coor­di­nat­ed with com­mu­ni­ty partners—including USI and Mia­mi-Dade NAACP—on the mobile dis­tri­b­u­tion of vac­cines to his­tor­i­cal­ly under­served Black and Lati­no communities. 

Now, Walk­er is work­ing to ensure that the mobile vac­cine dis­tri­b­u­tion ini­tia­tive is not an iso­lat­ed response to ongo­ing struc­tur­al inequities. She con­tin­ues to use data and have frank con­ver­sa­tions about bar­ri­ers to racial equi­ty to help her part­ners to achieve equi­table results in health, well­ness and oth­er aspects of com­mu­ni­ty well-being. 

There are many lay­ers when you look at hous­ing being a social deter­mi­nant of health,” says Walk­er. You look at the qual­i­ty of health care with­in the facil­i­ties that are in the com­mu­ni­ty and com­pare them with oth­ers. What are the ways to improve health care, and how can we make sure that they hap­pen in this community?”

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