LALDEF Announces Funding to Support Community Outreach, Expanded Access to COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines
March 9, 2021: The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) is teaming with Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton and Trenton Health Team to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing and information for Trenton communities hardest hit by the pandemic, with support from the New Jersey Department of Health ELC grant program.
Healthcare leaders and others have voiced growing concerns about inequities in vaccine access, with immigrants and communities of color especially affected. This grant and partnership will help ensure that immigrant communities in Mercer County will have reliable information in Spanish and English about COVID-19 and access to testing and vaccines. The purpose of the ELC program is to focus on the needs of our underserved, marginalized population. This grant enables us to continue making progress in the battle against COVID-19.
ELC grants, administered by the New Jersey Department of Health Division of Family Health Services and the Maternal Child Health Consortia, support expanded access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and training for community health workers to connect at-risk residents with needed services and reliable COVID-19 information.
Grants were recently awarded statewide to social service and healthcare agencies that provide life-saving services to vulnerable and underserved communities, through a partnership with the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium.
“We recognize that communities of color and other vulnerable groups have suffered more serious illness and death from COVID-19, yet often have fewer opportunities for testing and vaccines,” said Robyn D’Oria, Chief Executive Officer of CJFHC. “We believe these grants will help bring critical resources to people needing them most.”
LALDEF’s Interim Executive Director Lorraine Goodman added, “LALDEF is thrilled to participate in this collaboration. Health equity raises all of us; it is not a zero-sum game.”
As part of the initiative, LALDEF’s three client advocates will receive special training through the New Jersey Department of Health’s Colette Lamothe-Galette Community Health Worker Institute to address client needs related to COVID-19 in culturally sensitive ways and expand access to needed services in vulnerable communities. In addition, the partnership will develop new ways to ensure that immigrant residents of Trenton have access to testing and vaccines.
Specifically, LALDEF will:
- Develop written materials in English and Spanish to be made available in our lobby and disseminated to churches, local supermarkets, the Princeton Library lobby, and around the community. Flyers will also be posted on our social media sites (at least weekly) and distributed via text messaging.
- Assist residents with vaccine pre-registration — specifically those immigrants who are not digitally literate — through telephone or in-person assistance in Spanish and/or English
- Work with Catholic Charities to develop LALDEF’s headquarters as an out-post for its Virtual Exam Room and as a vaccination site
- Host informational webinars in Spanish and broadcast through Zoom and Facebook live and made available on our website.
This project reflects the strength and commitment shared by local community agencies; one of our greatest assets is the collaboration among health care and community partners to enhance health and well-being throughout our city.
ELC supports expanded access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and training for community health workers to connect at-risk persons with needed services and reliable COVID-19 information.
ELC funding is made available through the New Jersey Department of Health Division of Family Health Services to enhance detection, response, contact tracing and prevention efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.