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Knocking Down Access Barriers

OneWorld launches outreach programs and home visits for Covid-19

A group of people pointing at their bandaids on their forearm from a vaccination

The Secord family, friends of Mary McConnaughey

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, lack of access to health care and misinformation have been issues the global community has had to address. OneWorld is knocking down these barriers with new outreach programs and home visits for vaccinations.

As vaccines have rolled out, OneWorld has hosted a variety of community outreach events to educate the South Omaha community about Covid-19, and provide vaccines for those who desire.

OneWorld visited area meat packing plants providing Covid vaccinations. Additionally, on August 14, 2021, OneWorld partnered with the JBS Beef Plant for a vaccination event for the community. At the event, 130 people received vaccines while listening to Radio Lobo 97.7 and eating hamburgers. Everyone received a 10 pound package of fresh ribeye, and one person won a raffle prize of free meat for one year from JBS.

To help spread the word and reach the community beyond the testing center and vaccine center, OneWorld formed teams to go door-to-door in residential and business neighborhoods.

“Going door-to-door and talking really helps the community, especially if there’s a language barrier or a transportation issue,” said Hector Sanchez, Community Health Worker. “I think it’s validating for us to show up at their door and show them we’re here to help.”

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, EMT and Covid-19 Immunization Specialist, Mary McConnaughey, and an interpreter spend their days completing home visits. These visits are for people who call OneWorld and ask to receive a vaccine at their home.

“The majority of people for home visits are immobilized or disabled in such a way that makes traveling to our campus difficult,” said Mary.

In addition to completing home visits, Mary and her team spend Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays canvasing businesses and neighborhoods in South Omaha, offering vaccines to employees, volunteers, passerby, residents and their friends and families.

On August 13, Mary and her team walked into a business in South Omaha without any appointments being made, and ended up vaccinating 5/8 employees working that day.

“The owner of that establishment not only encouraged her staff to get vaccinated, but she also gave them a $100 bonus. It’s business owners like her who are helping us, too,” said Mary.

Even when doors are unopen or people say they are already vaccinated Mary and her team leave flyers for those individuals to read or to pass on to friends and family who still need vaccination.

“We are here, we have shots, and if you know anybody, we can come to you,” said Hector.

Eduardo Nunez, Community Health Worker, views being a part of the Covid-19 vaccine outreach as a way for him to help fight the spread of misinformation on social media by making a human-to-human connection with the Spanish-speaking members of the South Omaha community.

It’s no easy task, but Eduardo said it’s worth it for the small victories. Recently, while Eduardo was knocking door-to-door in a South Omaha neighborhood, he met a Hispanic woman who supports herself and her three children. When Eduardo asked her about the vaccine, the woman said she was nervous because she was the sole provider and could not risk missing work. Eduardo said her children were not supportive of the vaccine either because of what they had seen on social media.

“I knew she was scared, so I carefully gave her all of the information we have about the Pfizer vaccine, which is the vaccine we have been giving, and I ended up gaining her confidence and Mary gave the woman her first vaccine,” said Eduardo. “We’ll be going back in a few weeks to administer her second dose and celebrate her.”

Mary said she giving vaccines as soon as she was able to help honor the lives of her former coworkers and friends she has lost to Covid-19. Despite her former employer’s proactive and careful safety measures, Mary said she lost and buried three “brothers” in December 2020.

“I lost three brothers I had known for 35-40 years. Burying all three of them in December, that was personal. As soon as the vaccine became available I was on the front lines administering them,” said Mary.

Mary joined OneWorld in March 2020 to help with vaccinations. With the formation of the outreach programs and the home visits, Mary said reaching individuals and their families is very fulfilling.

“One of my friends recently called me and said, ‘If Mama Bear [that’s my nickname] says it’s time to get the vaccine, it’s time to get the vaccine,’” said Mary. “That night, we vaccinated his entire family. It was a huge honor that he trusted OneWorld staff enough to finally pull the trigger for him and his entire family.”

With the recent increase in cases, Mary said getting your vaccine now is critical.

“The Delta variant has been called the pandemic of the unvaccinated, and we know that social distancing and masks help, and vaccines are probably our best armor,” said Mary.

All OneWorld clinics offer Covid-19 vaccines, and both patients and non-patients can receive their vaccines at the Livestock Exchange campus. Home visits are available for anyone eligible for the vaccine. OneWorld will be administering the third dose (also called the booster) based on CDC guidelines.

Together we can make a difference.

OneWorld’s Vaccine Numbers as of Aug. 29, 2021:

  • 43,309 vaccinations given
    • 21,612 first dose
    • 21,697 second dose
  • 402 vaccinations given during outreach events

How to Schedule Your Covid-19 Vaccine

To schedule your Covid-19 vaccine, please call 402-734-4110.

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