Community-Based Organizations on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Public Health Response

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, community-based organizations (CBOs) have been serving on the front lines in their communities to address the health, wellness and economic needs of their community members. From providing groceries, to conducting wellness checks, to hosting mobile vaccination clinics, these CBOs are well established as trusted voices in their community.

“The best way to understand what’s happening on the ground is really working with people on the ground, and community-based organizations really serve as that conduit to connecting local, state, federal, all governmental public health agencies to the communities themselves.”

– Dr. Julie Morita, Executive Vice President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

To support equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, since early 2021, the CDC Foundation has awarded grants to CBOs across the country to provide vaccine education and outreach and to facilitate access to vaccines. As trusted local voices, CBOs are able to engage their community in authentic conversations and address their concerns about the vaccines.

Through the use of effective communications strategies and technology to address misinformation, CBOs, like the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, have become an integral partner in supporting our nation’s public health system and COVID-19 response.

“The impact of the funds from the CDC Foundation exponentially improved the work that we were already doing in our communities. We were able to hire outreach teams to go door to door to build community and as a community-based organization to strengthen relationships with our community partners and build trust.”

– Atara Young, Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation and CDC Foundation grantee organization

To showcase the important work happening in CBOs across the country and the impact of our supporters, the CDC Foundation recently interviewed some CBO partners as well as organizations who supported the CBOs to show the impact of their work in action.

Watch the video to see how the CDC Foundation is strengthening the support of CBOs and their local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following organizations generously provided support for CBOs working to address the equitable distribution and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Anthem Foundation
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Meta
  • National Football League Foundation
  • National Hockey League Foundation
  • Prologis, Inc.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Truist Foundation
  • Other CDC Foundation donors

Dorothy Evans
Dorothy Evans is a program manager for the CDC Foundation.
Rachel Powell
Rachel Powell Lewis, PhD, MPH, is a senior program manager for the CDC Foundation.