American Lung Association Honors Conference of National Black Churches for Work to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities

On Wednesday, Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, and Cheryl Calhoun, Chair of the National Board of Directors for the American Lung Association, presented the 2022 Community Health Impact Award to the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) for their work to educate the Black community on COVID-19 and encourage vaccination.

Early in the pandemic, Black Americans were more likely to die from COVID-19-related complications than white Americans. To address this dramatic health disparity, CNBC was awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to educate Black communities on COVID-19 vaccination through their network of ministries. 

“Throughout the pandemic, the American Lung Association and the Conference of National Black Churches have worked closely to reach communities of color with trusted educational resources that emphasize the importance of vaccinations in COVID-19 prevention,’ said Wimmer. “This campaign, along with several other national campaigns dedicated to reaching communities of color, have saved lives. While COVID-19 vaccination rates for Black Americans (50.5% for one dose) are still lower than white Americans (56.2% for one dose), the gap is closing.” 

CNBC partnered with the American Lung Association to deliver this message to thousands of ministries across the nation. As a part of this effort, the organizations developed the "Faith Leader’s Guide to Vaccinations," which was sent to 5,000 pastors across the country. The organizations also sent more than 250,000 masks to the pastors. The Lung Association participated in the CNBC campaign, “The Conversation: Between Us, About Us,” that featured healthcare workers addressing information needs about the COVID-19 vaccines.  Additionally, Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of CNBC, participated in the American Lung Association Act4Impact telecast, hosted by Queen Latifah, in 2020, to encourage communities of color to get vaccinated.

Wimmer and Calhoun presented the American Lung Association 2022 Community Health Impact Award to Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of the CNBC Churches Board of Directors, during the national conference. 

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