KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (December 2021) – Cherokee Health Systems is expanding its Community COVID-19 Ambassador program to support Tennessee’s response to COVID-19 through education, partnerships, prevention, testing, research and vaccination. The program officially launched in September 2021 after Cherokee became a TN CEAL partner.
Cherokee’s Community COVID-19 Ambassador program currently consists of eight ambassadors. The organization is now looking to add 12 ambassadors to the team.
Program ambassadors are volunteer community members who support efforts for public health education on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine. Ambassadors are expected to complete the roles below during the duration of their partnership.
- Be passionate about getting the vaccine
- Support accurate and culturally sensitive communication about COVID-19 and the vaccine
- Share vaccine information with your natural network of friends, family and co-workers
- Dedicate 1-3 hours (on average per week) to serve as an ambassador
- Complete online training on COVID-19, infection control and prevention and COVID-19 vaccines
- Coordinate and collaborate with the CHS team to support COVID-19 education and prevention
- Report activity monthly to the Director of Clinical/Community Collaboration
Danielle King, Cherokee’s Director of Clinical-Community Collaborations, oversees the Community COVID-19 Ambassador program and firmly believes that this program is promoting positive change within our communities.
“As healthcare providers, we must recognize that sometimes the biggest impact we can have in our communities is to listen to and amplify the voices of those in the community. Our ambassadors are natural leaders in their neighborhoods and are positively impacting the health behaviors of those around them beyond what we can do from inside the clinic. We are so grateful to them for leading the way,” said King.
One program ambassador is on a mission to change the way people view COVID-19. Robert Purcell has been a part of the Community COVID-19 Ambassador program from the start. He’s also been a Cherokee patient for 15 years. The program has given Purcell an additional opportunity to get active in his community. He has been seen walking up and down the streets in Knoxville talking to people about COVID-19 prevention and even giving people rides to Cherokee clinics to get their vaccine.
“This program has helped me on a deeply personal level. It has really given me a sense of purpose, and it has helped me feel like I am making a difference in my community,” said Purcell.
The TN CEAL program provides financial support to program ambassadors with a stipend of $200 per month. If you know someone interested in being a part of the Community COVID-19 Ambassador program, please head to our COVID-19 webpage to fill out the interest form.
Cherokee is part of a nationwide effort to save lives through COVID-19 vaccinations, already vaccinating more than 15,000 Tennesseans. People can call 1-866-231-4477 to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.
About Cherokee Health Systems
Since 1960, CHS has been committed to ensuring Tennesseans get access to effective, high-quality care. CHS is a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves 75,000 people annually. We offer a wide array of comprehensive health services, including primary care, behavioral health, dental, and pharmacy. All of our services are available to children, adults, and seniors on an ability to pay basis. CHS is a TennCare (Medicaid) and Medicare provider. In addition, CHS accepts commercial insurance for payment.