The Crusader Newspaper Group

Churches Promote Covid-19 Vaccination Within the Local Black Community

In a combined effort, a Vaccinations and COVID-19 Testing Clinic will be held at Greater Mt. Vernon Baptist Church on January 14, 2022; local effort is part of Black clergy’s national campaign.

Attending the Clinic will be Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust and other Chicago-area political officials at 10 a.m.

The three Churches in Chicago, IL – Oakdale Covenant Church, Greater Mt. Vernon Baptist Church and New Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church – announced in October 2021 they were joining the 120 community churches across 13 states and the District of Columbia that have come together as part of Choose Healthy Life (CHL). CHL is a national program to increase education and vaccination rates in Black communities in the fight against COVID-19.

Through Choose Healthy Life, Black clergy are helping to address health disparities on a local level. The three Chicago Churches located on the South and West sides of the city are offering educational resources, testing sites, as well as sponsoring a vaccination drive on January 14, 2022, from 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Pastors, Rev. Dr. Darrell Griffin, Rev. Charles Rogers, and Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch strongly support Choose Healthy Life as a sustainable, scalable and transferable approach to address public health disparities and inequities in the Black community. Funding for the program is provided by the U.S. Health and Resources Administration (HRSA). CHL launched with 50 churches in five major cities and the program’s expansion has led to more than 50,000 vaccinated in the communities served by these churches since March 2021. Through this collaborative ef- fort, more than 7 million people have been educated and empowered. Five Chicago Churches were selected for the program due to the important role that they play as a spiritual and community center in Chicago.

The successful model behind Choose Healthy Life was initially created and developed by Debra Fraser-Howze, who was also the founder of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. “The Black church and clergy have been a steadfast center of strength and leadership during so many of our crises and struggles in the past,” said CHL Founder Ms. Fraser-Howze. “Now, through Choose Healthy Life, they are once again leading the way by ensuring that Black communities are better informed and safer throughout the pandemic and into the future.”

In Chicago, our local COVID-19 and OMICRON positivity rate and hospitalization occupancy rates have sky-rocketed during the last few weeks.

Through the Choose Healthy Life initiative, church leaders and health officials hope to elevate the rate of vaccinations and available testing and protect vulnerable residents against future waves of COVID-19. To learn more about Choose Healthy Life visit

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