Story by: Ryne Dunkelberger on August 23, 2021
Churches and other faith communities have long been a cornerstone for families and a trusted source of guidance during challenging times. For more than 20 years, Norton Faith & Health Ministries has served to provide mentors and resources to faith groups interested in promoting whole-person health and wellness.
Norton Healthcare partnered with houses of worship once again to offer leadership, trust and confidence during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
As COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expanded across our community, questions from the public about the vaccine became a hot topic.
“People often look to their faith community for trusted resources, including health concerns,” said Carol Fout-Zignani, system director, Norton Faith & Health Ministries. “As a health care provider and vaccine distributor with many established faith community partnerships, we reached out to faith leaders to help engage many in the community.”
Carol said that new relationships were developed and existing ones deepened all across our community.
Norton Faith & Health Ministries leaders prioritized faith communities, especially those in hard-hit sections of Louisville Metro, as a way to offer COVID-19 education, address vaccine hesitancy and ease the burden of access to vaccinations.
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The team, in collaboration with Norton Medical Group and Norton Healthcare Prevention & Wellness, quickly set up and promoted five church-based vaccination events. Those were followed up by many more. In total, church-based events provided more than 6,000 vaccinations.
For the Norton Faith & Health Ministries team, working with houses of worship is an extension of their everyday operations. Carol added that their longstanding relationships with churches and other places of worship throughout the year allowed them to move so quickly to vaccinate.
“At Norton Healthcare, our faith heritage has been the cornerstone for how we deliver health care in our community,” Carol said. “Providing vaccines within an individual’s trusted place of worship was crucial to removing barriers in underserved areas, helping people receive the health care they deserve, as well as eliminating disparities in care.”
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