Finney County to participate in RADx-UP program

The Telegram staff

Finney County will be one of the Kansas counties participating in a multimedia campaign, “Community Health Workers Beat the Virus”, in seven different languages to encourage COVID-19 testing and vaccination among under-resourced populations.  

Community health workers and health equity teams across Kansas are partnering with the University of Kansas Medical Center for the program.

This initiative is part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics for Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program. KU Medical Center announced in October that it was one of 32 institutions nationwide to receive a $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the RADx-UP program to support projects designed to rapidly implement COVID-19 testing and vaccination strategies in populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Counties participating in RADx-UP Kansas are Crawford, Douglas, Finney, Johnson, Lyon, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Seward, and Wyandotte. 

“Community health workers and promotores de salud have been on the frontlines helping the most underserved during the pandemic,” said Mariana Ramirez, one of the co-Investigators in RADx-UP Kansas. “As trusted messengers, we could not have asked for better leaders to spearhead this campaign. Our communities trust them because they have been alongside helping them through the pandemic.”

The campaign spotlights stories from nine community health workers in seven languages (English, Spanish, Swahili, Portuguese, Hindi, Nepali, Dzongkha) to address health disparities highlighted by the pandemic and opportunities to close the gap.

Campaign messaging ranges from debunking the myths of vaccination, to emphasizing testing importance, to protecting loved ones. It will be released across traditional and digital media to encourage testing and vaccination among different populations in rural and urban communities, including those that are racially and ethnically diverse, those with lower social-economic status, and those that have immigrants and migrant workers. 

The RADx-UP Kansas team, based out of KU Medical Center in Wyandotte County, was assisted in the taping and production of the videos by professional videographers and producers from The University of Kansas Health System, who performed the work pro bono.