Published March 4, 2021
Johns Hopkins Medicine is committed to providing equitable care to all, while improving the health and wellness of our patients, personnel and residents in all our neighboring communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made existing health disparities even more apparent. In light of this concern, Johns Hopkins Medicine will continue to develop new ways to reach all populations — with specific consideration for vulnerable ones — to provide access to essential COVID-19 information and services. These include testing, care options, potential therapies, best practices to prevent the spread of illness, emotional support resources, language access options, and much more.
With highly effective vaccines now available to us in accordance with government supply distribution, we are focused on ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for eligible populations. To help achieve this, Johns Hopkins Medicine has mobilized a multidisciplinary task force specifically focused on vaccine distribution, with equity and inclusion built into its foundation.
Through this task force, we continue to reach out to all of our patients, our neighboring communities and our personnel in many ways:
Efforts to Reach Our Patients
As government agencies continue to open vaccine eligibility to certain demographic groups, Johns Hopkins Medicine offers our patients information and access to resources through the MyChart electronic health record system, direct emails, our website, video content, social media, as well as through our health care providers and other referring physicians. Importantly, we ensure that we can reach our patients who may have limited computer or broadband access by providing a dedicated telephone call center that notifies patients of vaccine appointment availability. We also share information through local news and media outlets, as well as by sharing resources through community partner programs. We are committed to ensuring that our patients who want to be vaccinated receive the information they need — and, ultimately, the vaccine, as our supply allocations allow.
Outreach to Our Neighboring Communities
Johns Hopkins Medicine also has various partnerships and programs in place to reach our neighbors in nearby communities. For example, our Maryland and Washington, D.C., providers continue to collaborate with local governments to help vaccinate specific groups, such as public school employees. In addition, we are going onsite to various senior housing facilities to vaccinate these highly vulnerable residents where they live. We are also working closely with the University of Maryland Medical System to operate the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, which offers COVID-19 testing, monoclonal antibody infusion therapy, vaccinations, as well as clinical care.
In addition, we have mobilized teams that are going out into the community to provide services, including testing and vaccinations within neighborhoods that have had high numbers of COVID-19 illnesses. In a collaborative effort between the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity, Johns Hopkins Medicine Language Services, and Centro Sol, a new pilot program — called Juntos — has helped to provide equitable resources to our Spanish-speaking inpatients with COVID-19. We are also leveraging well-established relationships with community and faith-based organizations to disseminate information about the vaccine.
Connecting with Our Personnel
Additionally, our health care systemwide Incident Command Center and our diversity councils are collaborating to reach our personnel across their various roles within the health care system to ensure that they have all the vaccine information and access they need. Just as with our patients, we are leveraging MyChart for vaccine appointment scheduling and notifications. To further enable this, we have established MyChart activation and support stations in our hospitals to ensure that those personnel whose work is not computer-based will receive assistance with securing appointments.
We have also established a special telephone line for personnel who lack computer access or who may experience technology challenges with accessing a vaccine appointment. Knowing that different personnel receive information in different ways, we have developed multiple means of communication — including signs, videos, infographics and a dedicated internal website, among other things — to help provide critical information to our staff.
At Johns Hopkins Medicine, we remain focused on creating effective and meaningful programs to ensure that our personnel, patients and neighboring communities feel they have the information and access they need to COVID-19 resources to remain informed and healthy.