Additional community partners sought to expand outreach
Farmington Hills, Mich.—September 21, 2021—Through a $500,000 Equity Alliance Grant awarded to Judson Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in May 2021, the multi-county human service agency has been working to increase COVID-19 vaccination knowledge and access in the Detroit area through a partnership with sub-grantees Development Centers and Practice Transformation Institute. The awarding of the grant followed conversations between Judson Center President and CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster and the CDC Foundation.
“I knew that by identifying the right partner agencies, we could make an immediate impact with the Equity Alliance Grant,” Hardy-Foster said. “Having strong partnership organizations is critical even for large agencies like Judson Center. When a national grant opportunity was presented, we were able to spring into action.”
The three non-profit organizations formed the Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19 (DECC) to fill a void in communities where people have had lower vaccination rates and, as a result, are more likely to contract COVID-19, experience more severe symptoms, and die at significantly higher rates. Targeted communities for purposes of the grant are Detroit, Dearborn, Redford, and Warren.
“The virus hit communities of color hard, with Black and Hispanic populations facing higher rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 than white populations,” Khadija Walker-Fobbs, Judson Center Chief Strategy Officer, said. “By building the Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19, Judson Center, along with our sub-grantees and any additional partners and stakeholders who come on board, will not only be able to educate individuals on vaccine safety but help administer vaccines through mobile clinics—lowering infection rates in these vulnerable areas.”
The Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19 considers nuances and needs of at-risk communities with culturally competent education and outreach. Weekly mobile vaccination clinics are offered at food pantries and cultural centers; English is translated into other languages on promotional materials and translators are available; and information is disseminated by peer-to-peer conversations, making for less intimidating interactions. Additional community partners are sought from non-profit and civic groups in Detroit, Dearborn, Redford, and Warren to help expand the reach of the DECC’s efforts.
Through the duration of the 18-month grant, outreach by the DECC is anticipated to improve overall public health by:
- Decreasing infection rates in vulnerable communities, leading to lower healthcare costs
- Improving quality of life as more people are vaccinated making it safer to gather
- Reducing confusion and misinformation about the vaccine
- Decreasing health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities
- Improving trust between communities of color and medical/human service providers
In the first three months of its inception, the Detroit Equity Coalition on COVID-19 has had 2,000 touches in communities and administered 420 doses of the vaccine. Additional partners and stakeholders interested in joining the coalition’s grass roots efforts can contact Sherri Mignot at
About Development Centers
Development Centers provides assistance to more than 12,000 adults and children each year through more than two dozen mental health and prevention programs, in addition to offering a comprehensive array of varied housing placement services, employment readiness training, early childhood education, and much more. The organization looks at the whole person, and the whole family, to help with lifelong development, even under the toughest of personal circumstances. For more information, visit www.develctrs.org.
About Practice Transformation Institute
Practice Transformation Institute provides learning programs that empower physicians and health care professionals to transform the delivery of care. Established in 2017, the organization is Michigan’s leading provider of CME and IACET-accredited experiential learning programs for the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), advanced primary care and other primary care transformation initiatives. To learn more about PTI, please visit www.transformcoach.org.
About Judson Center
Judson Center, trusted by Michigan families for more than 97 years, is a non-profit human service agency that provides comprehensive services that strengthen children, adults and families impacted by abuse and neglect, autism, developmental, behavioral, and physical health challenges so they can achieve whole health, well-being, and maximum potential. Judson Center also offers integrated primary healthcare for all through Judson Center Family Health in Warren and is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). Since opening its doors in 1924, Judson Center has grown to change the lives of over 12,000 children, adults, and families each year. Judson Center has offices in Genesee, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. Headquarters are located at 30301 Northwestern Highway, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3277. Learn more at www.judsoncenter.org.