Ledge Light Health District, which covers towns in the New London region, is looking for people who can help expand COVID-19 vaccine outreach. And they will pay you.
The health district is hiring about a dozen "community ambassadors."
"Our goal is to make sure that everybody who wants to get vaccinated is able to do so really easily," said Jennifer Muggeo, deputy director of the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD).
Community ambassadors will help the health district accomplish that goal, Muggeo said. They are looking for people who are friendly and like to talk, have strong ties to the New London and Groton communities, and people who are willing to help others understand more about the COVID-19 vaccines and where to get them.
"We are hoping for a range of folks from the community who speak different languages and who are connected with different folks," said Muggeo.
The community ambassadors will be hired for limited part-time hours. The outreach will be happening mainly in New London, which has been deemed a priority zip code by the governor's administration. The ambassadors will also conduct outreach in some Groton and Waterford census tracts that rank high on the CDC's social vulnerability index.
"Some of it will be connecting with people in their spheres of influence very organically," said Muggeo. "Some of it will be scheduled efforts where we will do some neighborhood canvassing paired with an onsite vaccination clinic."
Muggeo said it is important to bring the vaccine to the people and to break down any barriers that may be keeping communities from getting the shot.
Stephanye Clarke chairs the health committee for the New London branch NAACP. She said this kind of vaccine outreach, from trusted voices, is critical.
“It’s not about making someone make a decision either way. It’s really about making sure the folks have the best possible information," said Clarke. "Getting that from someone who they trust, maybe they socialize or worship with, is the best way to make that happen.”
The health district is funding the community ambassador positions with federal grant money, awarded to LLHD from the CT Department of Public Health. They will also use grant money to partner with other organizations, host pop-up clinics and further address barriers to getting the COVID-19 vaccines.
"Really it's about making the vaccines very, very accessible," said Muggeo.
Anyone interested in becoming a community ambassador can email email@example.com.