Mercy Receives Trinity Health Grant to Support Local COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Medical Center’s Community Health and Well Being (CHWB) department has received a $100,000 grant to support new and ongoing community engagement and mobilization efforts around making the COVID-19 vaccination accessible to all eligible populations. The grant is being made available to Mercy through Trinity Health’s “It Starts Here” campaign, a COVID-19 vaccine-education initiative focused on communities of color.

Under the terms of the grant, Mercy’s CHWB department facilitates and manages the grant funding to community-based organizations that demonstrate deep community relationships in the geographic “areas not yet achieving 75% or greater fully vaccinated populations, to support community-engagement strategies that promote COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination events.”

All funds will go directly to community-based organizations in Springfield to support their community-engagement strategies that promote COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination events. Specifically, Mercy will partner with the Black Springfield COVID Coalition, New North Citizens’ Council, Gándara Center, the Mental Health Assoc., and Extreme Kids Inc. to promote education about the vaccine and support opportunities for Springfield area residents to receive it. These efforts will continue through June 30, 2022.

According to Trinity Health, this funding opportunity is designed to support all communities to ensure easy access to the vaccine. It also reflects the organization’s commitment to serving those who are poor and vulnerable and reducing health inequities.

“Communities of color, and people who are poor and underserved, have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infections and death. We are committed to providing equitable access to the vaccine by removing barriers for all people to receive it, especially in communities such as Springfield that have less than a 75% vaccination rate,” said Cherelle Rozie, Massachusetts regional director of Community Health and Well Being for Trinity Health Of New England. “This funding will have a significant impact on our COVID outreach efforts in Springfield and pushes us one step closer to improving the vaccination rate across the city.”