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The building blocks for a healthier community

OneWorld Covid-19 Outreach team reflects on the power of community partnership

Members of the Covid-19 Outreach team.

In 2022, OneWorld’s Covid-19 Outreach team dedicated their time to providing Covid-19 education and vaccines for community members. The result? 1,625 people received services beyond OneWorld’s clinic walls.

“OneWorld has the philosophy of getting out into the community,” said Pat O’Hanlon, RN, Outreach Nurse. “I remember sitting in the office years ago and Andrea Skolkin, Chief Executive Officer, said ‘Get out there. Make the connections. Be a part of the community.’ And that’s what we have the joy of doing every day.”

When the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, Vivian Garcia, Outreach Manager, and her team were presented with the opportunity, with funding from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, to create a program that allowed community members to receive education and vaccines outside of the traditional clinic setting.

Together they created new ways to connect with the community by offering home visits, going door-to-door to local businesses in South Omaha and participating in community events at other organizations.

As the outreach team continued to connect with the community, they found they were also able to identify other barriers patients face — such as transportation and language skills — and help connect them to other services to overcome those barriers.

“We really want to thank our community for opening their doors and creating a connection between our clinics and community organizations,” said Ilse Ramirez, Community Health Worker. “Our priority is the health of our community. Working as a collective team creates better access to services for all people.”

The team has also formed and solidified trusting partnerships with many local organizations and businesses over the last few years. Garcia said these connections are building blocks to creating a healthier community, and are a vital piece of the services OneWorld provides.

Looking to the future, Garcia said the outreach team is hoping to apply the Covid-19 outreach model to other services such as health screenings and other vaccines.

“Covid-19 was unforeseen, but it created a better model for us to provide vaccinations outside of our clinics,” said Garcia. “Having so many connections in our community will help bring more opportunities for future programs. We are so thankful for our community for trusting us to come into their homes and businesses and allowing us to take care of them in a small way.”

At OneWorld, We Care for All People.

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