Federally Qualified Health Centers Key To Improving COVID-19 Vaccine Racial Equity

Racial equity is a concern as vaccines for COVID-19 are distributed.[M-Foto/Shutterstock]
Racial equity is a concern as vaccines for COVID-19 are distributed.[M-Foto/Shutterstock]
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Ohio is preparing to expand its eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning Thursday, the state says those 60 and older can sign-up for vaccines.  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also says certain professions will also be included in the expanded vaccine groups beginning this week inlcuding: child care providers, funeral services and law enforcement and corrections.

Those expansions come as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine received its emergency use authorization.  Ohio expects to receive more than 94-thousand doses of that vaccine this week.

But as the rollout of the vaccines continues to expand, the vaccine is not reaching all priorized groups equally.  According to a post from The Center for Community Solutions, currently in Cuyahoga County--blacks are much less likely than whites or other races to have received a vaccine.

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are seen as being instrumental in helping to bridge that equity gap.

Later, entrepreneurs with an aim of improving their communities came together for the seventh annual Accelerate: Citizens Make Change Competition.

The Cleveland Leadership Center in partnership with Citizens Bank puts on the competition.  This year's Accelerate had to be held virutally because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are going to spend a little time to talk to the winner and some of the other competitors of Accelerate.

The winner for this year's competition was Sara Kidner.  She's the principal of the John Marshall School of Civic and Business Leadership in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

She won for her "Read Like Me" a literacy and role model intitiave for young black males.

You will find a link to the Cleveland Leadership Center for registration details and more on the finalists ideas on our show page at ideastream-dot-org.

Finally, in April, the Greater Cleveland Partnership--the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the country--will have a new leader.  Last week, the board announced that Baiju (Beige-ew) Shah will take the reins from current  President and CEO  Joe Roman who is retiring.  The GCP has more than 12-thousand members.

Shah is currently a senior fellow for innovation at the Cleveland Foundation and leader of the Cleveland Innovation Project--a GCP partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, the Fund for Our Economic Future, Jump Start and Team NEO.  It aims to make Cleveland a leading Midwest region for technology led growth and inclusion by 2030.


Kate Warren, Research Fellow, The Center for Community Solutions  
Karen Butler, Chief Operating Officer, Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services 
Sara Kidner, Winner, Accelerate: Citizens Make Change, "Read Like Me"  
Lisa Rose-Rodriguez, Finalist, Accelerate: Citizens Make Change, "Planting Stems of Peace"  
Jing Lauengco, Winner, Technovation, "Other Brown Girl"  
Baiju Shah, New President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership 

For More Information:

Cleveland Leadership Center Registration for The Way Forward Leader Lunch Break

Cleveland Leadership Center: 2021 Accelerate: Citizens Make Change Finalists

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