Mayo Clinic and Rochester Healthy Community Partnership team up to create a pandemic playbook

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 6:41 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Public health experts report that the immigrant and refugee communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Outside Mayo Clinic
Outside Mayo Clinic(KTTC)

Mayo Clinic and local organization Rochester Healthy Community Partnership (RHCP) have been working hard to keep this community safe and informed throughout the pandemic.

The pair have been working to close the health disparity gap by using a ‘playbook’.

This playbook includes several strategies on how to address communication gaps, identify community priorities and improve access to needed resources.

RHCP came up with the idea, identifying a need to better distribute COVID related information to the immigrant and refugee community.

“We just got so many questions from the community, and we decided we have to do something for them,” RHCP Communication Leader Luz Molina said.

COVID-19 messaging in multiple languages
COVID-19 messaging in multiple languages(KTTC)

“It was about how to reach out to them and create the culturally appropriate messaging that will help them in terms of understanding what was going on at that time,” RHCP Communication Leader Ahmed Osman said.

The groups used social media to distribute the information, which included videos and infographics in multiple languages.

“So the messages were around three themes,” Mayo Clinic Physician Dr. Mark Wieland said. “One of them was prevention, and you can imagine how prevention changes throughout the course of the pandemic. More recently of course, with a heavy emphasis on vaccination. The second theme was testing and the logistics of testing, and the third theme was socio-economic impacts.”

Mayo Clinic estimates 39,000 people in the immigrant and refugee community across Southeast Minnesota were reached during the first half of the pandemic.

Mayo Clinic and RHCP say these strategies can be used in the future should another pandemic arise.

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