“Stronger Partnership, Stronger Community: Using Health Literacy to Increase Resilience (Stronger2)” brings together trusted community voices to foster culturally competent health literacy
The Fairfax County Health Department has begun a new initiative to improve health literacy among local African-American, African and Hispanic communities. Named “Stronger Partnership, Stronger Community: Using Health Literacy to Increase Resilience (Stronger2),” the program seeks to improve health outcomes by cultivating an individual’s ability to find, understand and use health information and services in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
Stronger2 kicks off this weekend with a special training for community volunteers who have been recruited to build the program. The 90+ leaders come from non-profits, the faith-based community, and historically Black fraternities and sororities. A full list of organizations leading Stronger2 can be found below.
“The Stronger2 team represents trusted community voices who are making a positive impact each day in neighborhoods across Fairfax,” said Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Health Director, Fairfax County Health Department. “The training will provide tools to build Stronger2 directly into the fabric of the community in a way that answers individual health literacy needs in a culturally competent manner, and expands upon and elevates the great work they are already doing to help our community.”
The program is utilizing a ‘community-based model,’ whereby those who are most entrenched in the community will create and execute the program. The Health Department is providing the connecting resources needed to do so.
Stronger2 training occurs over several weeks and involves extensive study in health literacy, trauma informed care, and program evaluation. Following training, the group will build and implement health literacy programs and share the positive impact these make in the community. Some of the key health topics that will be addressed include COVID-19 vaccination, illness prevention, and health care decision making.
“The pandemic illuminated further the health disparities that have long existed within communities of color. It also highlighted the some of the incredible work of our community leaders,” said Anthony Mingo, Stronger2 project leader and community outreach and engagement manager, Fairfax County Health Department. “We know outcomes are improved when a person has good health literacy, and we also know that health literacy works when it is culturally focused. So, through Stronger2, we are re-committing ourselves to our community and our investment in their improved health outcomes. And, we are truly humbled to be working alongside these fantastic partners.”
Stronger2 is made possible through an $3.875 million award made to the Fairfax County Health Department from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH). The award is part of a $250 million two-year initiative to identify and implement best practices for improving health literacy to enhance COVID-19 vaccination and other mitigation practices among underserved populations. The Advancing Health Literacy (AHL) to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 initiative is part of the Biden/Harris Administration’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness.
Stronger2 Community Leader Organizations
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Centreville Immigration Forum
Church of the Living God
Emerson Diversity Health Foundation
Emmanuel Worship Center
George Mason University, College of Health and Human Services
IPHI (Institute for Public Health Innovation)
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Mount Olive Baptist Church / Voices of Black Fairfax
National Hispanic Medical Association
Niños de Maria
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
Thompson and Associates
Virginia State University