Community Collaboration Delivers Vaccine to Farmworkers
As of March 15th, 93% of all farmworkers in Sonoma County had already received the COVID-19 vaccine. This impressive pace was thanks in no small part to a collaboration between the Sonoma County Winegrowers, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Sonoma County Vintners, and local health organizations. Karissa Kruse is the president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers.
Kruse… “What we created was a pretty interesting model, trying to create sort of the trust between the community health centers and us as organizations. Knowing that we had trusted relationships with the employers, and the employers had trusted relationships with the employees. So it was kind of this really interesting collaboration that honestly relied a lot on communication, trusting each other, and collaboration.”
The organizations collected information from employers and coordinated blocks of time from local health organizations to facilitate farmworker vaccinations. The results are impressive, and Kruse sees this collaboration continuing beyond the pandemic.
Kruse… “We’re actually hoping that this model can be a proactive model for healthy communities going forward. Whether it’s blood pressure readings, education on nutrition, any of that that we need. We now have this great relationship with the community health centers. Our farmers are now comfortable and familiar, as are our farmworkers. I think it could pave the way for a whole new way that we support our farmworkers, and the health of our farmworkers locally.”