As an urban community project for Rock Hill, SC, the purpose of this project is to develop and implement strategies for improving the health outcomes in the most vulnerable communities within the city of Rock Hill, SC. Clinton Health ConNEXTion and Impact York County will organize a multi-partner collaboration that will advance health literacy and reduce health disparities, including responses to COVID-19, among residents in the city?s most vulnerable six census tracts. Clinton College (as a sub-awardee of the City of Rock Hill) will take the lead in project management, quality improvement, and evaluation through its Clinton College Community Development Corporation (CC-CDC). The COVID-19 pandemic has made visible the health disparities and cultural mistrust that negatively impact racial and ethnic minorities within the community and their access to quality health care. The COVID-19 spread within the community has revealed that the Black and Hispanic/Latino members of the community are disproportionately affected by the virus. For example, statewide statistics show that 18% of vaccinations have gone to Black residents, while they account for 26% of cases, 33% of deaths, and 26% of the total population in the state. In addition, 3% of the vaccinations have gone to Hispanic residents, while they account for 9% of cases, 2% of deaths, and 6% of the total population. In comparison, 65% of vaccinations have gone to White residents, while they account for 58% of the cases, 64% of the deaths and 67% of the total population. These vulnerable populations are also most likely to be affected negatively by other more prevalent chronic diseases as well. Through the CC-CDC, the project management team will engage health care partners, neighborhood residents, and trusted community leaders in the faith-based, government, academic, and health-provider organizations to work together in implementing approaches to reduce the burden of COVID-19 and other
health related disparities. The project?s three major goals and associated objectives seek to address health literacy through (1) improvements in healthcare provider communication and cultural competence, (2) expansions of collaborative community approaches to health promotion, and (3) further development of current community infrastructure (Policy, Systems, and Environment-PSE) to include widespread and on-going health promotion for vulnerable populations. These improvements and expansions will address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among target populations as well as improve the health care they receive. There will be a Community Health Promotion Institute, a Consortium of Health Service Providers, as well as Health Promotion Partners and Resident Health Advocates. Start-up delays will be minimized by initial planning with partners during May and June, and the identification of leadership personnel ready to be hired.The project activities will follow a Plan, Do, Study, Act model of collaborative project cycles that lead to improvements in each subsequent cycle. The evaluator will work with project management, project teams, and community residents to monitor outcomes of each QI project and to assist all partners in identifying and using valued metrics for decision-making about strategy modifications and improvements. The overall project evaluation will determine whether health literacy goals, objectives, and strategies were implemented in alignment with the national Healthy People 2030 objectives, whether the strategies reached the identified vulnerable populations, and whether the project resulted in infrastructure improvements for future health promotion. It will also monitor changes in access, use, and outcome of COVID-related activities - vaccination, testing, contact tracing, and adoption of prevention practices.