HERMITAGE, Pa. – In response to the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, Buhl Regional Health Foundation worked with county officials and Primary Health Network to create a vaccine equity team.
Working with churches, organizations and businesses, the team ensured vaccine access to anyone who wanted to be vaccinated.
When the problem was alleviated, the team shifted its focus to vaccine education and testing, according to Donna Smith, director of outreach for the Hermitage, Pa.-based foundation.
The team conducted community outreach events that provided information to thousands. The work continues with the arrival of boosters and new variants.
Aside from COVID-19 related work, Buhl Health Foundation staff reviewed Mercer County data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and determined the area’s health needs. Future grantmaking and programming will primarily support six pillars of community collaboration: health education, cancer prevention and treatment, women’s health, transportation, healthful lifestyles, and medical access.
In 2021, the foundation awarded grants to 19 community projects within the six collaboration pillars totaling $783,817. The foundation also awarded 12 scholarships totaling $29,000 to students pursuing a career in the health care industry.
BRHF scholarship funding will be available to high school seniors who reside in the foundation’s service area and are pursuing a registered nurse degree, or a bachelor’s degree or higher in another health-related field.