As much as some of us would like to avoid getting shots, we also understand how vital vaccines can be in keeping us healthy. Not only in keeping ourselves healthy, but also in keeping our community protected against the spread of serious diseases, including influenza and covid. Unfortunately, people who want the shots can’t get them, because they face barriers to getting necessary healthcare, including vaccines.

Natasha Smith is the Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Sanford Health and Taneeza Islam is the CEO of South Dakota Voices for Peace. They have seen those barriers being represented by differences in language, transportation issues, misinformation, educational shortfalls and financial constraints.

Yet they were here to tell us why they also believe there is hope to overcome these barriers! A partnership between the two organizations, along with Employment Disability Resources, is leading the way to address and dismantle barriers to accessing vaccinations, thanks to a grant from USAging.

Sanford Health wishes to acknowledge that this program would not be possible without the following partners in the program who have been working alongside them in this effort: South Dakota Voices for Peace, the City of Sioux Falls, and Employment Disability Resources who are helping guide this work to access more people in our community.