County Of Santa Clara Partners With Community

Santa Clara County, CA The County of Santa Clara has enhanced its COVID-19 outreach efforts to residents and businesses in the county – especially in areas disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 – to inform and encourage essential workers and residents about best practices to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the virus. 
As part of the County’s continuing commitment to the health of essential workers, the Community Health & Business Engagement Team (CHBET) began canvassing this month and members have visited more than 3,300 businesses and spoken with nearly 1,400 unique workers. 
Created through a proposal introduced by Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez, the CHBET program aims to contain the spread of COVID-19, especially in the hardest-hit communities of East San José and South County, by doing outreach in those communities using the services of community based organizations and residents of those communities. 
“We’re going out there and having real conversations with folks, especially in hard-hit areas such as East San José and Gilroy,” said Chavez. “It’s a boots-on-the-ground effort. This kind of personal engagement really helps get accurate information out to the community, and we find that most businesses are willing and eager partners.” 
The County has contracted with local community groups to assist with the outreach and those partners include Working Partnerships USA, Si Se Puede Collective, Community Health Partnership, and Roots Community Health Center, who coordinates with Ujima Adult and Family Services, the African-American Community Service Agency and Unity Care. 
The team consists of about two dozen members, including bilingual workers who can inform populations underserved by traditional communication channels. If a business needs language assistance unavailable from visiting team members, an appropriate team member will be sent back for a return visit. Languages spoken include English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese. 
The CHBET program builds on prior work that the Santa Clara Public Health Department has built with communities in East San José and South County to address health inequities in the County.  “The Public Health Department is proud to continue our partnership with community members to make sure that our outreach is informed by the community’s needs, and effective. From the beginning of this pandemic, we have prioritized more resources for the hardest-hit communities,” said County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. 
The CHBET program requires a substantial financial investment of more than $1 million by the County.  “My administration is proud to make this critical investment in the communities hit the hardest by COVID-19, including the Latinx Community,” said County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith. 
Culturally competent engagement requires partnership with leaders and members of the community.  “That aspect of the team is vital,” said Betty Duong, Lead Public Information Officer for the County’s Emergency Operations Center. “Santa Clara County is incredibly diverse, and some communities can be insulated from messaging unless approached by someone who not only speaks their language, but also understands the concerns specific to the community.” 
The County of Santa Clara Emergency Operations Center media team can facilitate interviews and ride along opportunities to see the Business Engagement Team in action. Contact the media team at 408-808-7863 or [email protected]. 

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