Grant Project Title
Vaccine Education and Equity Program
Grantee Address

The Wellness Collaborative, Inc.
20 Eustis Street
Roxbury, MA
United States

The Wellness Collaborative (TWC), founded in 2019 by three Black women – an internist, a pediatrician, and a psychologist – is a nonprofit that provides an innovation solution to eliminating health care disparities. TWC provides education, insight, and best practices that promote sustainable personal and community health, wellness, and resilience.

CareQuest Institute has no formal history with TWC and our organizations were brought together through listening sessions that the CareQuest Institute grants team were having with Boston-based faith community leaders of color to understand how to best support equitable vaccine dissemination.

This proposal is built on the understanding that the burden of COVID-19 falls on BIPOC communities disproportionately due to the impact of many social determinants of health such as living in areas exposed to higher levels of harmful environmental pollutants, being more likely to work in essential roles and thus compelled to travel to work on public transportation, and the cumulative stresses associated with visible and invisible systemic aspects of racism that make people more vulnerable to diseases.

This proposal supports TWC in implementing its Vaccine Education and Equity Program (VEEP) to 1) provide information to both younger and older BIPOC adults about the history, safety, and efficacy of vaccines from persuasive, credible sources and 2) organize convenient community COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to improve access and increase percentages of BIPOC residents who become fully vaccinated. While vaccination rates have been improving in Massachusetts for most communities, the VEEP project is intended to reach the significant segment of “late adopters” who still have not been vaccinated for important historical and cultural reasons.

TWC, in partnership with the Massachusetts Health Council (MHC) have successfully implemented the VEEP model in areas such as Dorchester and the Greater New Bedford and have had such success that other communities around the state are wanting to replicate. Through using the CDC’s 2018 Social Vulnerability Index, the plan will be to implement 12 events in locations such as: Mattapan, Lawrence, Worcester, and Springfield that have higher index scores.

The events themselves will be built on establishing local partnerships with faith-based and established community-based organizations through listening sessions to understand what the needs of each community is. Events will offer free food, live music, giveaways, in addition to a series of health and oral health educational materials. The events will offer, for residents who need it, free transportation through a recent $20,000 free ride credit that TWC has received from Lyft. At events, once residents receive their first vaccination, volunteers and community health partners will work with individuals to make appointments for their second vaccine and disseminate vaccination appointment cards, which has proven effective.

This aligns with CareQuest Institute’s values to support health and racial equity through community-driven approaches to equitable access for care. This opportunity will allow for supporting the health of BIPOC communities in Boston and around Massachusetts through unique, community-driven and community-tailored events through leveraging a new relationship with The Wellness Collaborative and the Massachusetts Health Council.

In addition to the VEEP community events, there is an additional opportunity to support 2 additional targeted approaches towards vaccine dissemination:
• Targeted school-based family events, getting younger children vaccinated in preparation for the upcoming school year
• Targeted community events that engage local businesses such as barber shops, beauty salons, and nail salons.

The budget for this proposal is $96,600. That funding supports event coordination, communication and supplies for all 12 events as well as 15% indirect costs for TWC to administer the grant.

The total organizational budget for the The Wellness Collaborative is currently $92,833 which makes this grant about 105% of the organizational budget.

Grant Date
Grant Amount