Pandemic & Racism Community Advisory Group (PARCAG)
In early March 2020, we convened representatives from various community, business, and government sectors in King County to help slow the spread of COVID-19 with the goal of accelerating the use of the recommended and required community mitigation strategies.
Committed to 2-way communication, the Advisory Group helps share information and urge action within their respective networks. They also inform us on what they are seeing on the ground – both challenges and opportunities. Together, we work to help prevent, interrupt, and respond to misinformation and stigma.
COVID-19 & Health Equity (CHE) Community Advisory Group
In the Fall of 2020, we were awarded the COVID-19 Health Equity Grant (CHE) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant aims to address the persistent and disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on higher-risk and underserved communities across the country.
We are using this grant to support and prioritize community-centered and anti-racist work within the department. This work is aligned with King County’s 2010 Equity and Social Justice ordinance and Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan, which call for the use of a racial equity lens and community partnerships in PHSKC and all County work.
CHE prioritizes investments to build and strengthen internal infrastructure and mobilize community partners to address COVID-19, health inequities, and future public health emergencies. We invest and strengthen the community-facing infrastructure that supports staff who can co-design strategies with communities close to the issues of concern.
Community-facing infrastructure includes support for:
- Staff and stipends for advisory groups and task forces
- Implementation workplans with dedicated resources for community consultation and revisions
- Funding and technical assistance to contracted community-based organizations
CHE strategies work towards building a workforce at all levels of the department that reflects the county we serve, and a collaborative mindset that does not assume that we have all the answers.
Community Engagement and Partnerships Team
Co-created with trusted community representatives, The Community Navigators Program convenes trusted messengers and community leaders to educate, equip, and serve as representatives of their communities with the goals of:
- providing culturally responsive information and resources on COVID-19
- addressing social determinants of health
- providing guidance to us to align with the needs of our communities
Community Navigators speak and serve over 45 different communities and represent the communities most impacted by COVID-19:
Black - Congolese - Indigenous of the Americas (Ireta P’urhepecha, Kichwa, Garifuna) - Khmer - Ethiopian - Garifuna - Samoan - East Indian - Latinx - Marshallese - Korean - Iraqi - Tongan - Fijian - Chinese - Afghan - Vietnamese - Filipino
- Navigators bring the personal touch to the COVID-19 response, Public Health Insider
Equity Response Team (ERT)
ERT addresses cross-cutting issues raised by the team and partner agencies through advocacy and guidance. COVID has touched all areas of our society, and the ERT looks to call out and act on these upstream effects.
ERT members have represented different areas of subject matter expertise, to include civil rights, LGBTQ, youth, community, faith, including tribal members and a bioethicist, as well as city and county staff, the ERT addresses cross-cutting issues raised by our team and partner agencies.
During the pandemic we have been able to offer an amazing level of services in Language Access, using a new system of community translators and reviewers. Currently, we are in a period of transition, as existing grant funding scales down. As a result, some of the Language Access Services we provide the department will be decreasing, though our goal is to sustain and potentially ramp up again if funding allows.
Place-Based Strategy Team
The place-Based strategy team supported the COVID-19 vaccine response by serving as a connector for communities as COVID-19 resources and guidance changed quickly. Active areas of focus included:
- East African communities in Kent
- Latine/Hispanic communities in Kent and Tukwila
- Youth and young adults in Federal Way and Kent
- Ireta P’urhepecha in South King County
- Black/African American communities in Renton and Central/South Seattle
- Pacific Islander communities in Auburn, Federal Way, Burien, and Seattle
- East African Muslim communities in SeaTac
- Congolese community in South King County
COVID-19 and Health Equity and Capacity Building Team
The COVID-19 and Health Equity Capacity Building Team gave presentations with the latest information, resources, and guidance on COVID-19 to interested communities. They worked to provide culturally relevant presentations and answer questions for communities, businesses, and organizations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This program supported, designed, and implemented internal PHSKC initiatives and community-based initiatives aimed at eradicating inequities in social determinants of health.
2022: 149 presentations, 64404 participants
2023: 37 presentations, 7384 participants
The Training and Capacity Building program ended on May 31, 2023.