Page starts ‘North County Outreach Group’ to promote COVID-19 vaccine


Photo by Erin Achenbach

Mercy Hospital South Chief Medical Officer Dr. Aamina Akhtar displays a COVID-19 vaccination card, which states where and when an individual received the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses administered roughly three weeks apart.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced Friday he has tapped nearly 20 community leaders with deep roots in north St. Louis County to help increase vaccine registration and work with the county Department of Public Health to ensure all residents are connected to the latest COVID-19 information.
“We must engage communities that are underrepresented to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine,” Page said in a release. “And that is our commitment.”
A breakdown by ZIP code of those preregistered shows low participation in several areas of north St. Louis County. Preregistration is as low as 3 percent in some North County communities and as high as 39 percent in the central part of the county.
“The pre-registration trends are consistent with pre-existing racial and socioeconomic disparities,” Page said. “With our pandemic response, we are working aggressively to reverse these trends.”

Rochelle Walton Gray

The North County Outreach Group will work closely with Damon Broadus, the who has been appointed to the newly appointed position of director of health promotion and public health research, and with former 4th District Councilwoman Rochelle Walton Gray, COVID-19 vaccine community outreach coordinator. Both were hired by the health department to bolster the county’s response to the pandemic, focusing on the vaccine rollout.
Broadus served as regional community impact director before joining the department.
Walton Gray is a former County Councilwoman and state representative and longtime resident of north St. Louis County.
“With this response, it’s all hands on deck,” Page said. “This group of community leaders will help us reach our most vulnerable and the historically underserved.”
The members of the North County Outreach Group are:

• Bishop Lawrence Wooten Sr., Williams Temple Church of Christ, will serve as chair.
• Cordell Whitlock, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County – Whitlock formerly served as St. Louis County’s communications director and a television news reporter.
• John Bowman, St. Louis County NAACP
• Mike McMillan, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
• Lisa D’Souza, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
• Reggie Jones, mayor of Dellwood and former member of the county Charter Commission
• Ella Jones, mayor of Ferguson
• Chris Krehmeyer, Beyond Housing
• Bishop Elijah Hankerson, St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition
• Erica Williams, A Red Circle
• Rebecca Zoll, North County Incorporated
• Geoffrey Soyiantet, Vitendo 4 Africa
• Dr. Monique Williams, Mound City Medical Forum
• Kendra Copanas, Generate Health STL
• Monsignor Mark C. Ullrich, Archdiocese of St. Louis North County Deanery
• Dr. Rance Thomas, North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice
• Angela Pinex, Spanish Lake Community Development Corporation
• Alex Fennoy, Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce
• Yolanda Lockhart, National Pan-hellenic Council – St. Louis