Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Beacon Health receives $4.8M to improve vaccination rates in minority communities

Justin Hicks
IPB News

Beacon Health has received almost $5 million to improve vaccine outreach in minority communities.

According to a release, the health system received $4.8 million in grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among Hispanic, Black and Amish residents in St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall County.

“While COVID-19 numbers are trending in a direction that we are all excited to see, we want to be certain that everyone has the opportunity to make educated and informed decisions about vaccination,” Kimberly Green Reeves, Beacon’s director of community outreach, said in the release.

Beacon will collaborate with Saint Joseph Health System and other area partners — including universities, social service agencies and public health departments — to hire and train both medical and non-medical community health workers.

The release says the goal is to educate residents on the safety, effectiveness and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in places where disparities in vaccination, case and death rates are still high.

“One lesson we’ve learned during the pandemic is that trusted voices within communities are the best way to overcome vaccine hesitancy, correct misinformation and connect people with healthcare providers,” Beacon CEO Kreg Gruber said in the release.

The grants will also fund mobile vaccine clinics operated by the Beacon Community Impact Team and Saint Joseph Community Health and Wellbeing.

For more information, visit

Beacon Health System is a financial supporter of WVPE.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donatinghere.

Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.