1 Through your nursing sorority, you've been involved with the COVID-19 vaccination effort. Why was it important to your organization?
As an African American nursing sorority, we know that minorities are mostly impacted by the COVID virus and are less likely to receive the vaccine. We were offered the opportunity to collaborate with HealthVisions Midwest Vaccine Messaging Task Force on their mass community rollout COVID vaccine registration. Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority joined this leadership effort to be visible in the minority community by providing COVID education and assisting with vaccine registration.
2 What was the response from the community as you assisted with a vaccination clinic at the Renaissance YMCA?
We found that the 25- to late-30 age group was less likely to receive the vaccine due to misinformation or simply wanting to see the outcome from other people receiving the vaccine or they were just not interested at all. The ones that were not interested we offered to assist with any questions they may have as well as provided them handouts about the vaccine.
3 Why do you think minority communities have lower vaccination rates than the white population?
In speaking with the minority community, a lot of their reasons were fears from the mistrust of previous events such as the Tuskegee experiment (which we heard a lot) along with other fears of having a tracker placed or changing their DNA, aborted fetus cells being used, inconsistent information and lack of trust of the federal government – especially the prior administration.
4 The vaccination program isn't Chi Eta Phi's only public health initiative. What other projects are you involved in?
Our main initiative is infant mortality as well as hypertension, diabetes and our newest initiative, seizure recognition.
5 Are you seeing progress in the Safe Sleep campaign?
Progress is noted by the increase number of attendees at Safe Sleep events, but the real measurement of progress occurs when we see a decrease in the number of infant deaths, which can be directly related to unsafe sleep practices in our county.
We recently participated in a health fair at Shepherd's Hands Community Outreach Center where we provided safe sleep demonstrations and education.
We had a lot of guests stop by to see the demonstration, receive safe sleep education handouts and they also had the chance to ask questions and have their questions answered.