Washington: Department of Health Collaborative


Create a space where members can ensure an equity and social justice lens in Department of Health planning and decision-making opportunities related to the COVID-19 vaccine, COVID-19 response, and other topics of community importance.

The COVID-19 pandemic does not affect every community in the same way. A person’s health, occupation, and living situation, along with those that lack access to appropriate healthcare and those affected by systemic inequities and racism are all disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

The Washington Department of Health launched the Collaborative, a virtual meeting space of over 680 community members across the state, prioritizing communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this space is to foster collaboration and partnership with community-based organizations, businesses, cross-sector partners, health care entities, and public health agencies. Members of the Collaborative include community organization members, individual community members disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and members of industries and sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The Collaborative is led by Thought Partners, an advisory committee comprised of community members who take a more formal and active role within the Collaborative. Meetings held by the Collaborative include community relations briefings, feedback sessions, shared learning meetings, and collaborative workgroups.

Funding for this program came, in part, from federal COVID-19 funds. It is currently funded through 2024.

Since implementing this promising practice in February 2021, the Collaborative has held 21 sessions with an average of 125 participants per session, informed 19 decision-making and planning opportunities, and launched two workgroups.

“For a very long time, the government felt so far away from its people. DOH set up the Vaccine Collaborative, a forum that has enabled us to facilitate real-time conversations around vaccine uptake and emerging barriers while also closing the communication gaps that existed in the previous years.”  - Collaborative member

Years: 2021, 2022, 2023

Locations: Washington

Programmatic Areas: Communication, COVID-19, Partnerships

Key Words: Communication, COVID-19, Health Equity, Partnership

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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