Healthy Savannah Announces Free Adult Vaccine Resources and Outreach with Renewed CDC Funding

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Oct. 20, 2023 - PRLog -- (SAVANNAH, GA) Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia are inviting community members interested in joining a conversation to advance health equity to consider becoming Community Health Advocates (CHAs).

An online listening and information session is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, and an online training session is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Nov. 30.

The upcoming sessions are the first to be offered under the new five-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant issued in Sept. 2023 to the local administrators by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A total of $5,108,495 in REACH funding over the next five years is intended to help improve health, prevent chronic diseases and reduce health disparities among Black and Hispanic populations in Savannah and Chatham County's low-wealth neighborhoods. The local team will work in four strategic areas: adult immunization, breastfeeding, nutrition, and physical activity.

While the upcoming training sessions are the first under the new grant, they are actually the sixth to be offered since the CHA program was first launched in 2022 – funded by CDC supplemental grants in 2020 and 2021 – to increase awareness, access and acceptance of flu and COVID-19 vaccines in the priority communities. Since the program's inception, more than 50 CHAs have been trained and many are still actively working in the community.

The adult immunization portion of the new grant issued in 2023 broadens the scope of the CHA program to encompass awareness and increase access and acceptance of adult vaccines in general, in particular those that may reduce vulnerability in those with chronic health conditions.

Smalls says information about the CDC's Bridge Access Program will be provided during the upcoming information and training sessions. The program provides no-cost COVID-19 vaccines to adults without health insurance and adults whose insurance does not cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs.

Local providers under the Bridge Access program include the Coastal Health District's Eisenhower Clinic, J. C. Lewis Primary Health Care, and several Walgreens branches.

There is no cost to attend the listening session or the CHA training session, but space is limited for the training, which also offers a $500 stipend to participants who complete community outreach activities afterward. Both new participants and those who have previously completed the CHA training are invited to apply.

Smalls says those participating in either the listening session or the CHA training program can also look forward to sharpening leadership and networking skills and learning about advocacy.

To register for the Nov. 9 Listening Session or apply for the Nov. 30 Community Health Advocate training program, or to learn more, please email

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
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