Project Description Narrative:
Mass crisis communications that do not adequately tailor messaging to address cross-cultural differences have been shown to fail. In past crises, conveying information to vulnerable groups through traditional means has been ineffective because these groups did not trust or adopt directives from traditional communicators. In Milwaukee County, early COVID-19 pandemic data show disproportionate spread and mortality in the African-American community, with concerns for Latino, southeast Asian, and Native American communities as well. To reduce mortality and the burden on health systems, establishing culturally responsive crisis communications strategies with vulnerable communities is key.
Through this award, project partners will use a three-tiered approach to rapidly improve communication of guidelines for communities less aware of or less able to respond to Wisconsin's Safer at Home order, and will pilot online training with community health workers and public health outreach personnel to respond to mental health and wellbeing needs among these communities.
Additional community partners: Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs, Milwaukee County Emergency Operations Center, City of Milwaukee Health Department Public Health Laboratory
Additional MCW academic partners: Katinka Hooyer, PhD, Family and Community Medicine; Riccardo Colella, DO, MPH, Emergency Medicine