Increasing the vaccination rates among home health workers is critical to slowing the spread of COVID19. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) in consultation with industry leaders, estimate a vaccination range of 40 percent to 90 percent depending on the company and the discipline of the caregiver. With the rise of the Delta variant, NAHC is joining forces with the National Minority Health Association (NMHA) and the Flex for Checks program in a concerted effort to increase vaccinations among homecare workers.
The Flex for Checks (www.flexforchecks.org) community-based program was developed as part of an $11.1 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that seeks to mobilize home care workers to increase vaccination confidence and rates in underserved communities in the fight against COVID-19. The NMHA has also enlisted to support of television personality and author, Dr. Ian Smith, as a campaign spokesperson.
“We need to be honest and recognize our shortfall in vaccinations as an industry. But as an industry, we need to come together to solve it, said Bill Dombi, President & CEO, NAHC. This is even more of an urgent issue as the Delta variant is quickly spreading among the unvaccinated, coupled with colder winter months approaching,” Dombi continued. We are pleased to join with NMHA in this collaborative effort.”
AccentCare, a leading home care provider has agreed to join in the launch by introducing Flex for Checks to its employees with a goal of 5,000 shots. “We recognize that the industry has a problem when it comes to vaccinations, said, Stephan Rodgers, Chief Executive Officer of AccentCare. Vaccination is the first line of defense against COVID-19 and we want to be part of the solution, and that’s why we are aggressively encouraging our team members to get vaccinated.”
The HRSA grant is part of the approximately $125 million available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) American Rescue Plan to develop and support a community-based workforce that will serve as trusted voices in sharing information about COVID-19 vaccines, increase vaccine confidence, and address barriers to vaccination for those living in vulnerable and medically underserved communities.
The grant funding will help community-based organizations like the NMHA better mobilize frontline home health workers as trusted messengers to conduct on-the-ground outreach to educate and assist individuals in receiving reliable information about vaccinations and reward health care agency workers for helping guide consumers to receive that vaccination as well as help increase vaccination among healthcare workers.
“We are thrilled to partner with NAHC and AccentCare as we seek to get as many home care workers and people in underserved areas vaccinated as possible”, said Burgess Harrison executive director of the NMHA.
“Nothing like this program has been undertaken in this manner, where homecare agencies, workers, consumers, pharmacies, and software companies come together and flex their arms in the fight of our lives against COVID-19,” continued Harrison.