The Cancer Justice Network, along with our partners, God’s Favor Mobile Meals, Talbert House Food Truck, and the Cincinnati Health Department visited a series of Metropolitan Housing sites, Hawaiian Terrace, Reid, Stanley Rowe, and participated in a large church prevention program at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. We were excited to see so many people turn out despite heat in the 90s. Meeting with dozens of people who were suspicious of the vaccine provided an opportunity for discussion in a trusting and supportive way. It is clear that many fears about the vaccine are grounded in so many negative experiences with health care or with the lack of health care relationships that have been useful and respectful. Stories we heard echoed the recent reports from the US News and World Report that “top” hospitals in the US do not have much of a relationship with Black and other minority patients. Sadly, no hospital from Cincinnati was included in the upper levels of outstanding with the exception of Children’s. Yet, we heard strong statements about just how difficult it is to be “sick while black” in Cincinnati. Suspicion, distrust, rudeness, and poor communication mark many of the stories we heard and go a long way to help understand the reluctance of people to reexperience rejection or inadequate health care from professionals.
Our approach to providing vaccines and education about health in general does not challenge these stories. Instead, we are neighborhood based, accessible for discussions, respectful of fears, encouraging of stories of success and failure with health professionals, and welcoming of the complex feelings about a new procedure of vaccinations. Coming to one of our sites, you would see our Navigators discussing the vaccines in one on one discussions, often with a hot plate of food, occasionally walking a person over to the nurses and sitting with them during the vaccinations. We have found that the personal, the realistic, and the honest approach to both what we do and don’t know can make a favorable impression on some clients.
To many people, what we are doing seems strange: “What are you doing worrying about my health for the first time? What is the real reason you are here?” Taking food is one thing; getting a vaccine seems like a giant step. One person said to me: “You are here now and when I take the vaccination, and have a bad side effect, will you be here to take care of me?” The absence of a healthcare context of continuity, of making sure that health is a short and long term outcome, also acts against decisions to take the vaccination. There is no magic bullet to overcome the history of healthcare discrimination in general or the case studies of inadequacy in Cincinnati. We approach each event with kindness, and with the hope that this time it will be different for the clients and their family’s healthcare. Our Navigators and our partners have “walked the walk” of compassionate health connections even as the hospitals, foundations, and government has chosen to treat the poor and minorities as invisible. We go forward, finding new “friends,” holding new “hands,” making the kind of connections that are seeds that we hope grow a new healthcare system.
Pop-Up Vaccine Sites And Dates
Cancer Justice Network
We are uniting agencies and people that serve the poor and minorities in Cincinnati, Ohio to create a Cancer Justice Network. For more information, email :email@example.com CALL 513.404.3882