COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in Geographic Areas of Need

Rhea Boyd, M.D., is a pediatrician, public health advocate, and scholar. She writes and teaches on the relationship between structural racism, inequity, and health. Dr. Boyd works clinically and has a scholarly focus on the child and public health impacts of harmful policing practices and policies. She partnered with San Diego 211, working with navigators to address the social needs of San Diegans impacted by chronic illness and poverty. Dr. Boyd is also the Director of Equity and Justice for The California Children’s Trust, an initiative to advance mental health access for children and youth across California. In partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, Black Coalition Against COVID, and Unidos US Dr. Boyd co-developed THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us, a national campaign to bring credible information about the COVID vaccines directly to Black, Latinx, and Spanish-speaking communities. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Africana studies and health from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Boyd earned a M.D. at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed my pediatric residency at University of California, San Francisco. In 2017, she graduated from the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Minority Health Policy Fellowship at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, earning an M.P.H.

Contact: rhea@cachildrenstrust.org

Henry Fernandez, J.D., is CEO of the African American Research Collaborative. He is also the CEO of Fernandez Advisors, a consulting firm that counsels clients in management, planning, project development and political strategy. Mr. Fernandez serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on state and municipal policy. He has worked broadly in local government, including as Economic Development Administrator (deputy Mayor) for New Haven, Conn. He was the founding executive director of LEAP (Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership), a nationally recognized child development program in Connecticut serving low-income youth, primarily public housing residents. Mr. Fernandez is a graduate of Harvard College and received his law degree from Yale Law School.

Contact: henry@africanamericanresearch.us

Erin Hemlin oversees health policy and advocacy for Young Invincibles. She currently leads YI’s policy development and government relations work related to access to health care with a focus on the federal marketplace and Medicaid, as well as young adult health care utilization, specifically regarding mental health. Previously, Erin led YI’s health care consumer education work for five years which focused on ACA implementation and helping young people access coverage directly, as well as connecting partners to young adults in their communities. She has authored reports for YI focused on young adult health, and was a contributing author for the textbook Navigating Health Insurance. Her work has been frequently cited in the media, including major publications like NPR, NBC News, and The New York Times. Erin previously worked for a social change-oriented lobbying firm, The Sheridan Group, and for the Congressional Research Service. She serves on the Board of Directors of The National Alliance for Adolescent Health, and enjoys reading, and all things sports in her spare time. She is a native Texan, and received her B.A. from St. Edward’s University, and M.A. from George Mason University.

Contact: erin.hemlin@younginvincibles.org

Rachel Nuzum, MPH, is vice president for the Federal and State Health Policy initiative at The Commonwealth Fund, working closely with policymakers at the state and federal level. Ms. Nuzum is responsible for developing and implementing the Fund’s national policy strategy for improving health system performance, ensuring that the work of the Fund and its grantees informs the policy process in both the legislative and executive branches of state and federal government. Ms. Nuzum’s work also includes fostering public–private collaboration on health system performance improvement with state and federal stakeholders and organizations. Ms. Nuzum has over 15 years of experience working in health policy at the federal, state, and local levels of government, as well as in the private sector. Before joining the Fund in January 2007, Ms. Nuzum was a legislative advisor for Senator Maria Cantwell (Wash.) on health, retirement and tax issues. Prior to joining Senator Cantwell’s office, she served as a David Winston Health Policy Fellow in Senator Jeff Bingaman’s (N.M.) office. In this role, Ms. Nuzum staffed the Senator on the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Before arriving in Washington, D.C., she served former Governor Roy Romer of Colorado in the office of Boards and Commissions and worked as a health planner in west central Florida. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Colorado and an M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management from the University of South Florida. She is on the faculty of Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Nursing and Health Professions and is on the board of the Winston Health Policy Fellowship.

Contact: rn@cmwf.org

Lauren Rauh, MPH, is the senior program manager of the CONVINCE USA initiative (COVID-19 New Vaccine Information, Communication and Engagement) at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH). Lauren designs, coordinates, and conducts research and programmatic activities to identify and mitigate concerns about vaccination. Her team is engaged in projects that explore strategies for rebuilding trust in institutions, systems, and information. Most recently, they completed a qualitative study with support from the Commonwealth Fund to provide communication and policy insights supportive of individuals who remain distrustful of COVID-19 vaccines. In New York, Lauren facilitates the Vaccine Literacy Campaign, which bolsters community-based efforts to increase vaccine uptake through education and communication strategies. Lauren holds an MPH from CUNY SPH and a BA in Anthropology from Smith College.

Contact: lauren.rauh@sph.cuny.edu


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