HAZARD, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2021) - The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH), Kentucky HomeplaceUSA Drone Port and a network of community partners are continuing efforts into 2022 to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in a 32-county region of Appalachia Kentucky and neighboring counties in West Virginia, with $3.3 million in grant funding from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration.

“Since August of 2021, this grant has enabled us to provide over 40 events in local communities to go where people need us most,” said Fran Feltner, DNP, director of the UK CERH and principal investigator of Kentucky Homeplace. “In 2022, we will continue to host events and we are excited to broaden our efforts to engage children and their families and schools.”

“Extending our grant period in to 2022 will enable us to continue to leverage the expertise of community health workers and our many valued community partners,” said Feltner. “Our intent is to meet people where they are to work through barriers, alleviate fears, dispel myths, educate and assess any needs people may have that could be holding them back from being vaccinated,” Feltner added.

The Community Health Days calendar of events can be found at www.kyruralhealth.org or by using the interactive map below.  Event dates for 2022 will be added soon.

If you would like to find a vaccination location in your community or be a vendor at an event, please contact the Community Health Worker listed on the map below. Hover over your county for their name and contact information.

The goal is to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in Appalachian communities by:

  • increasing community outreach in remote communities.
  • removing barriers to vaccine access.
  • assessing health or social needs of individuals.
  • providing education.
  • increasing positive messaging.

A series of more than 40 additional Community Health Days will be held across the region beginning after the first of the new year and continuing through late spring. Planning for these activities will focus on removing as many barriers as possible and reaching as many of the population as possible in a short period of time.

The mission of the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) is to improve the health and well-being of rural Kentuckians with a vision of a healthier Kentucky. 

Increasing the COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in Rural Appalachia Kentucky is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3,380,780 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

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