LADYSMITH, WI -- Indianhead Community Action Agency (ICAA) received notification on Tuesday, July 27 they were awarded a $1,000,000 federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to increase COVID-19 vaccination outreach efforts across six counties in northwestern Wisconsin.
The grant opportunity was open to all public and private nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, with only 127 grants being awarded nationwide. ICAA is one of three Community Action Agencies in the US (and one of two organizations in Wisconsin) that were chosen for funding.
Jennifer Shearer, ICAA’s CEO, stated, “We are honored to have been chosen for this funding, especially since we were up against proposals from larger metropolitan areas. This is a chance for us to make a substantial, positive impact in our northwestern Wisconsin communities. This will not only impact those who live here, but the thousands of visitors who come each year to enjoy all that this area has to offer. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are excited at the chance to make a difference.”
This new, rural COVID-19 vaccination outreach program focuses on each county’s unique reasons for vaccine hesitancy while providing educational outreach to the community to increase vaccination rates. This will be accomplished through focus groups, social media outreach, development of local hotlines for questions regarding the vaccine, and attendance at community events. To help alleviate any financial stressors that may create barriers in obtaining the vaccine, gas cards and childcare cost reimbursement will be made available.
Anna Ringstad, ICAA’s grant writer and program director, stated, “While structuring this program, we kept thinking about how significantly this area has been impacted by COVID-19, and ultimately, what we could do to help. During the mandatory shutdowns last year, many of our unique and important small businesses had to close their doors – some of them permanently. It was important to us to find a way to help keep our communities safe from further negative, financial impacts. At the end of the day, we just want to know that we’re doing all that we can to keep our local economies strong and our amazing citizens healthy.”
The rural COVID-19 vaccination outreach program will cover Burnett, Clark, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn counties. For more information about ICAA or the rural COVID-19 vaccination outreach program, call 715-532-4222 or visit www.indianheadcaa.org.
About ICAA: Indianhead Community Action Agency, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 Charitable Organization and an equal opportunity employer and provider operating under an Affirmative Action plan.