Health Ambassadors: Advocating Equity and Justice
Health Ambassadors are the link between faith communities and health care resources. Congregations are important places for learning and sharing information. If you are interested in learning more or signing up as a Health Ambassador in your area, please reach out to our Health Equity Manager, Kathryn Haines (Kathryn@virginiainterfaithcenter.org)
VICPP Health Ambassadors work with VICPP to:
* Support Community Health Workers/Virginia Department of Health (VDH): Health Ambassadors serve as liaisons to local VDH and community health workers when needed, advertise community healthcare worker positions through congregations, build political will for increased community health workers through education on this role. They also may advocate for sustainable funding for community health workers as key to reducing health inequities. Community health workers address vaccine equity by helping with access and information.
* Educate congregations on healthcare inequities and expanding access: Health Care Ambassadors help deepen congregants’ understanding of equity and/or their congregations’ or communities’ particular challenges.
* Identify language barriers. Health Care Ambassadors may become aware of language barriers and should communicate those to VDH.
* Develop policy solutions. Health Care Ambassadors help influence VICPP’s policy priorities around health equity and social determinants of health by sharing their experiences and insights.
* Distribute educational resources. VICPP regularly shares resources that may be helpful to your congregation or community.
* Host an education event. VICPP will work with Health Care Ambassadors who wish to organize educational events in their congregation on health equity. The sessions could be listening sessions to collect stories, movies highlighting disparities, or policy updates.
* Participate in Day for All People. VICPP hosts an annual advocacy day at the General Assembly, called its “Day for all People,” on the Wednesday after Martin Luther King Day. Leaders from all over Virginia come to discuss policy priorities with their elected officials.