The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating toll on the East Bay community and has hit communities of color hardest. The generations-long divestment in communities of color by the U.S. government shows up in the health conditions that make communities of color more likely to get seriously sick from COVID-19 and while having less access to medical care.
There is relief with more vaccines becoming available, yet there continue to be disparities in both communications about and access to vaccines to communities that are most vulnerable to this virus.
There are several outstanding clinics that have earned longstanding trust and relationships in communities of color which continue to fill the need for access to care. We have highlighted three of these clinics in the East Bay for you to learn more about and consider supporting their work.
Allen Temple Baptist Church has deep roots and connections in Oakland, with more than 100 years in the community. Pastor Dr. Jacqueline Thompson saw the need for COVID-19 testing in the community and collaborated with partners to establish a testing site at the church, making it one of the first faith-based organizations to do so in the region. One of their goals is to leverage what they learned from COVID-19 testing to expand communication by trusted messengers, with reliable information about vaccines to the Black community. Resources for community-centered faith-based programs for messaging and outreach are scarce as they are rarely eligible for emergency public funds, despite being a vital source of support and information in communities of color, particularly in Black and Latinx communities during COVID-19. Given the nature of the pandemic and an increase in misinformation, investing in infrastructure for trusted messaging and outreach in a variety of communities is vital.
Native American Health Center is a nonprofit, Federally Qualified Health Center proudly serving California’s Bay Area Native Population and other underserved communities. Caring for the Bay Area since 1972, NAHC has worked at local, state, and federal levels to deliver resources and services for the urban Native community. As an Urban Indian Health Project through our relationship with the Indian Health Service (IHS), we are dedicated to providing high quality medical, dental, behavioral health, community wellness, and social service programs. NAHC is on a mission to provide comprehensive services to improve the health and well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and residents of the surrounding communities with respect to cultural and linguistic differences. Our philosophy is that culture is key to prevention. We recognize and respect the culture, identity, and traditions of all people. We use a holistic model of care, which treats each member as a whole person, acknowledging and responding to their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social service needs.
Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center is a leading provider of multicultural and linguistically appropriate health care and related services in Central and Southern Alameda County, which has one of the highest density of COVID cases in Alameda county. Since 1971, TVHC provides comprehensive medical, dental, and mental health care, youth health services, community health education, family support services, and Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition services to low-income, limited English proficient, uninsured, and publicly insured patients. TVHC provides services to the region’s communities made most vulnerable and marginalized, building community trust by providing high-quality services in a multi-lingual, culturally welcoming environment. With respect to cultural and linguistic diversity, TVHC provides services to more than 28,000 community members each year, of which a large majority (74%) are Latino. TVHC’s multi-multicultural and multilingual staff possesses extensive language capacity. With a four-decade presence in the community, TVHC has built tremendous trust and credibility to prevent health disparities in a multicultural community. In particular, immigrants in the area know they can turn to TVHC for high-quality services, delivered in their preferred language and in a culturally welcoming setting.