March 2022

Black Health Chronicle

Women's History Month

Maya Angelou, the late American novelist, memoirist, and civil rights activist, once said, “Every time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.”

Welcome to the third edition of the Black Health Chronicle newsletter, which is a special tribute to our Black women who have stood up for themselves, their families, and their peers in order to provide healing and promote hope in Washington’s Black community.

In the Community: Phenomenal Women

T’wina Nobles (she/her) is the Senator for the 28th Legislative District. She is the first African-American Washington state senator in a decade. Sen. Nobles also serves as the, President and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League and on the University Place School Board. As a state senator, Sen. Nobles remains committed to introducing and supporting legislation that reflects the 28th Legislative District’s shared values. In the most recent session, she sponsored legislation to address issues important to her constituents, including housing stability, environmental justice, and accessible transportation.

Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra (she/her) identifies as an Afro Latina artist born in Caracas, Venezuela. By the time she was 18, she knew that facilitating healing through art and movement was her calling. With a passion to continue deepening the connection with her history and ancestral roots as well as help the Afro- descendant community find sustainable ways to share about their culture and reclaim equity in society, MÁS (Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle) has become the platform where she’s able to actualize her empowerment work both as an artist and an organizer.

Anna Franklin (she/her) currently serves as a Commissioner on Governor Jay Inslee’s Women’s Commission, co-chairing the Health Committee. Her areas of passion are health equity, process improvement and community development. Anna is also the Executive Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Providence Health & Services. Anna believes in the power of connections and relationships, and is a mentor and champion for local youth — especially young women of color. She is committed to providing experiences and opportunity to our future community leaders.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf...

“I also know that I am not alone. Many women, Black women in particular, have similar stories. By sharing my story, I hope to help reduce the stigma of mental illness and provide insight into the cultural and systemic considerations that shape and inform our lives.

For my fiftieth birthday, I got a large tattoo of a phoenix on my back. Her name is Luz. Luz honors and reminds me of the times in my life when I died by fire (sometimes of my own making) and re-emerged from the ashes. I have and will always rise.”

Click here for her full narrative

Successful Community Collaborations

In Southeast Seattle, the Center for Multicultural Health, the City of Seattle, Dunia Clinic, and Mary Mahoney Professional Organization (MMPNO) organized a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Through the end of January, they successfully vaccinated over 7500 individuals.

More information about this event is located here- City Of Seattle Opens New COVID Vaccination Clinic In South Seattle – The Seattle Medium

Community Ask

We encourage collaboration with our community members for the Black Health Chronicle. Connect with us at [email protected] if there are any specific topics you would like us to share. Please note if you are an expert in this area or if you have recommendations for partners to highlight and/or connect with.

Promoting Positive Health & Well-being Among Black Women

Black women in America face healthcare access barriers that contribute to poorer health outcomes than their white peers. Studies have shown that Black women, are more likely to receive inadequate timely diagnosis’ and treatment, as well as experience access barriers to pain treatments or have their concerns dismissed entirely by healthcare providers.

Additionally, Black women are less likely to be admitted to the emergency room or receive a referral for specialty care . It is important to understand these barriers and biased treatment prevent Black women from receiving for the quality care they deserve.

We should work to elevate Black women’s voices and provide tools to help them advocate for the quality care they deserve, and support efforts to address implicit bias, institutional racism, and systemic inequities within the health care system.

It is important for Black women to schedule an annual wellness visit to detect diseases early. Regular visits to a primary care provider will increase the likelihood of early detection of diseases, allows time to find treatment and seek appointments with specialists.

Screening and prevention schedules are determined by age, gender, family history and other risk factors. Click here for additional tips on types of tests and follow up to request when meeting with your medical provider.

COVID-19: Top Things You Should Know

On February 14th, the “Here for Us” campaign was launched in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health. It recognizes and validates the most prevalent COVID-19 hesitancies among the African American/Black community and uses facts to help dispel the misinformation that has led to lagging vaccination rates among us. It reinforces the notion that getting the vaccine is a personal choice, while combating misinformation to help people make an informed decision. For more information go to HereForUsWA.org.

On March 12th, the indoor mask mandate expired. The outdoor mask mandate was previously lifted on February 18th. Please note the following ways to keep you and your family safe from COVID-19.

  • Research suggests that wearing a mask reduces an infected person’s chance of spreading the infection to others. It is a good idea to continue mask wearing in crowded indoor spaces. Testing saves lives. Testing allows people to take precautions, like quarantining, in a timely manner to stop the virus from spreading; infected people without symptoms can still spread the virus.
  • Getting vaccinated and boosted is the best way to protect yourself from severe illness, hospitalization or death due to COVID-19.
  • Using WA Notify (also known as Washington Exposure Notifications) helps stop the spread. It is a free tool that works on smartphones to anonymously alert users that may have been exposed to COVID-19 without sharing any personal information. It is completely private and doesn’t know who you are or track where you go.

Additional Masking Information

Masking requirements may be different for your place of work than for the general public, depending on the type of work you do. Masking guidance for employers is available on the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website.

  • The CDC requires the wearing of face coverings by travelers to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. This order must be followed by passengers on all public transportation including, but not limited to; airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares. More information can be found on the CDC’s webpage for Legal Authorities.

COVID-19 Testing Sites & Information

  • Order a free testing kit from the federal program at CovidTests.gov
  • Order free, rapid COVID-19 tests on the Say Yes! Orders are limited to two per residential address each month. Each order comes with 4 to 5 rapid tests. Home – Say Yes! To Covid Test (sayyescovidhometest.org) or call 1-800-525-0127; language assistance is available
  • Get a PCR or Antigen test at a testing location near you. Visit this website for a list of locations: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19/TestingLocations
  • Purchase an at-home test at local retailers and pharmacies. Also check with your local library.
  • If you have health insurance, most insurers will now pay you back for up to 8 at-⁠home tests per month, for each person on your plan. Click here for more information.

Opportunities

DOH intends to award multiple contracts with community groups for COVID-19 outreach

The State Department of Health (DOH) recognizes that community-rooted and community- led organizations and groups are better positioned and equipped to respond to community needs to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 information.

To meet this need, DOH has funded community-driven COVID-19 outreach, communications, and engagement since September 2020. DOH anticipates total funding of approximately $13 million to a minimum of five (5) contracts that respond to both priority populations and intersectionality’s to carry out the community engagement through June 30, 2023.

Please share this opportunity with appropriate organizations in your communities. The Request for Qualifications and Quotations (RFQQ) 26833-0) was revised to extend Bidders Submission of responses to April 7 by 2:00 pm PST.

All proposals must be intentionally centered around priority communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, lead with racial equity, and take an intersectional approach.

For additional information on priority communities, you may access and print a hard copy of RFQQ 26833 from the DOH Procurement Website at https://www.doh.wa.gov/AboutUs/BudgetContractsandGrants/ContractsandGrants.

For questions, contact the RFQQ coordinator Maria Rogers, at [email protected] Washington Medical Commission

The Washington Medical Commission (Commission) is currently accepting applications to fill upcoming vacancies. The Commission helps make sure physicians and physician assistants are competent and provide quality medical care. We are looking for people willing to study the issues and make decisions in the best interest of the public. Our member selection reflects the diversity of the profession and provides representation throughout the state. Learn more about the Commission by visiting their website.

For more information about the 2022 vacancies, click here
If you have any questions about serving on the Commission, please contact Amelia Boyd,

Program Manager, by email at [email protected], or call (360) 918-6336. Community Learning Grants

Grants for Community Learning are available from the Group Health Foundation (GHF). These funds help groups that reflect and engage with their communities. The foundation will learn through these grants what equality and justice mean to communities in Washington and how they are advancing this work.

In 2022, they will award up to $17 million in Community Learning Grants to roughly 70-80 groups. The grants range between $150,000 to $225,000 over three years (or $50,000 to $75,000 a year)

Accepting applications: March 10, 2022 – April 7, 2022 Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction YES! Program

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is recruiting three middle and junior high schools in Washington State to implement YES! (Youth-centered Environmental Shift program). They are still searching for one more interested middle school. Participating schools will receive an estimated total of $17,750 each in funding between January 2022 and September 2023, for their work on program implementation and evaluation. The University of Washington, in partnership with Harborview Medical Center, is conducting the evaluation of YES! A successful evaluation will result in YES! becoming a model for statewide and national replication.

For more information, click here Job Announcements

    • The Group Health Foundation is currently hiring for a Board Relations Manager to manage and support the experience and governance practices of the foundation’s board of directors. Application closes March 25th. For more information about the position, click here.
    • Want to make a difference in people’s lives every day? The Department of Health is where you can help prevent illness and injury, promote healthy places to live and work, help people make good health decisions and ensure our state is prepared for emergencies. Review available job openings, internships and sign up for job alerts at [email protected]

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Care-A-Van
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) provides COVID-19 vaccine mobile outreach across Washington State. Check out the Care-A-Van website to submit a request form.

Home Based Vaccination Efforts
If you are homebound you can also get assistance. Their caregivers can submit a request through this form: Home Based Vaccination Form (wa.gov) or call 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829- 4357), then press #. Language assistance is available.

Language Access
COVID-19 vaccine information is now available online in 40 languages including:
ASL ኣማርኛ – Amharic العربیة – Arabic français – French Afaan Oromo – Oromo Soomaali – Somali Español – Spanish Kiswahili – Swahili ትግርኛ Tagalog – Tagalog (təgərəña) – Tigrinya

Transportation
The Department of Health’s Equity and Social Justice team developed a COVID-19 Transportation Resource Document to support communities and partners with access barriers to vaccines and testing sites. DOH continues to update the document with additional transportation resources on an ongoing basis. If you would like to share additional transportation resources or have questions, please send your contributions and inquiries to [email protected] .

COVID-19 Community Resources
DH and DOH are thrilled to invite you to the Community Partner Page. This is a space where partners can find program updates and news, an events calendar, campaign resources and a community partners list. We hope this page will make resources and opportunities to collaborate more accessible.

This resource page is for community partners doing COVID-19 outreach through the Community Media Outreach program funded by the Washington State Department of Health. You will find a partner events calendar, program updates and news, and campaign resources. You can also view the work of other community partners.

Additional resources from community partners, can also be found here

Editorial Team
Writers: Rael Odengo, DeeSha Connor, Michealea Lemons
Reviewers: Christymarie Jackson, Remeka Jones, Kathleen Meehan
Additional Contributors: Mahlet Zeru, Anna Franklin, Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra, Senator T’wina Nobles, Lydia Guy Ortiz