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WMCHealth and United Way 211 Helpline Partner to Promote COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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VALHALLA, N.Y. (March 9, 2021) – The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) and United Way’s 211 Helpline are partnering to distribute information about the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in the Hudson Valley. 

“WMCHealth and our Health Equity Task Force are committed to making sure the COVID-19 vaccine information is distributed in an equitable and inclusive manner,” said Michael D. Israel, President and CEO of WMCHealth. “Partnering with United Way’s 211 Helpline allows us to reach thousands of individuals in their primary language.”

“Having access to the most up-to-date information is important to our 211 Helpline call specialists who are helping callers understand how to navigate through the vaccine process,” said Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “Working with WMCHealth and their Health Equity Task Force provides direct access to those resources.”

Through this partnership, WMCHealth and the Health Equity Task Force will be providing 211 Helpline call specialists with FAQs about vaccine basics and scripts to use when people are asking about vaccinations, which the United Way 211 can update, based on feedback and data. The call center will generate regular reports on metrics and the type of COVID-related questions it receives, which can help WMCHealth and the Health Equity Task Force update or create new information and materials. 

Additionally, United Way 211 Helpline will push text messages throughout the Hudson Valley concerning the COVID-19 vaccine, including a link to a directory of locations that are receiving vaccine supply, with information about who is eligible at these locations and how to register (COVIDInfo.WMCHealth.org).

 WMCHealth is serving as the coordinator for the Hudson Valley Region Hub of New York State’s Regional Vaccine Network. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is a member of its Health Equity Task Force, which WMCHealth created to help ensure all residents of the Hudson Valley region have access to information, education, and resources to ensure robust vaccination as the state ramps up COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts.

The 211 Helpline, run locally by United Way of Westchester and Putnam, is a free and confidential information and referral service available 27/4, 365 days a year in over 200 languages. Individuals can dial 211, text their zip code to 898211, or visit 211hudsonvalley.org for help with their health and human service needs.  

 The 211 Call Center, located in White Plains, handled more than 76,000 calls from the Hudson Valley in 2020, with almost a third of them directly related to the COVID-19 crisis. Westchester and Putnam Counties also activated the 211 Helpline as an Official Point of Information to the public. So far, in 2021, the 211 Helpline has received more than 5,000 COVID-related calls.