Richmond City Health District

Deputy Director, Dr. Danny Avula of the Richmond City Health District

The Richmond City Health District is strong in partnership development and has made great strides in building public awareness, understanding, and support of the CDC flu vaccination campaign. Starting in December 2011 with a campaign kick-off during NIVW, where participants included city agencies, church ministries, and African American print and broadcast media, 2012 ushered in even greater partnership growth.

From a public housing council representative to a nurse at Virginia Union University (VUU), each brought a unique outreach agenda. With the Richmond City Health District leading the charge, it showed itself, once again, to be more than a health department. In many ways, with mini clinics in some of the city’s housing developments to collaborations with varied sectors, the Richmond City Health District likens itself to be a steward with pulse on community. Dr. Danny Avula, Assistant Director of the Health District comments, “the CDC immunization campaign has become a priority for us as we move forward in 2013.”

That pulse is the life-line for many in this predominantly African American city whose underclass population is beset with a variety of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart problems, and asthma. Recruiting a public housing council representative provided a pathway to some of the city’s poorest citizens. Recruiting Virginia Union’s nurse brought campus resources to the table, from student volunteerism to the media department, both key to outreach and public education. Marilyn Fleming, Virginia Union University executive assistant to the Vice President states that, “VUU is a vital partner in the CDC campaign. Sports players and other students are recruited to speak to people in the community. The campaign has broad-based value. The college community has captured audience and people resources.”

With no other health district in the CDC campaign similar in focus and methodology, the Richmond City Health District offers a model suitable for replication.

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