Dignity Alliance Massachusetts endorses the petition letter of the Vaccine Equity NOW! Coalition and demand that Governor Baker take immediate action to prioritize access to the vaccine for the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
Download the entire statement: DAM-VEN-Petition.docx.
The Black, Latinx, and immigration communities have suffered a disproportionate burden in COVID-19 rates, hospitalization, and deaths. The Vaccine Equity NOW! Coalition demands include directing resources, vaccines, and administrative efforts to communities of color along with education and outreach that is culturally competent and available in multiple languages. Dignity Alliance Massachusetts stands together with VEN on this issue of equity and dignity and urges Governor Baker to adopt the demands in the petition.
Additionally, VEN’s demands fall squarely within Dignity Alliance mission and goals. Dignity Alliance is dedicated to the securing fundamental changes in the provision of long-term services, support, and care focused on the dignity of those receiving care, as well as those providing it. Dignity Alliance goals and objectives include the protection of residents in nursing facilities from infections such as COVID-19 and protecting and supporting career, volunteer, and family caregivers. Dignity Alliance’s Home and Community Based Services Policies, Programs and Protocols Recommendations for Reform include prioritizing for vaccination workers who deliver care in people’s homes.
Besides the fundamental tenet that it is not possible to be in favor of justice and dignity for some people but not all, the communities at the center of VEN’s demands are intimately linked to the those at the center of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts’ work, individuals in nursing facilities and those receiving care in their homes and communities. Over one third of health care workers are Black, Latinx, or from immigrant communities. Nursing facilities with the highest rates of infection, hospitalization, and deaths are located in the Massachusetts communities with the highest community spread, which also happen to be some of the most diverse communities in the state.
This advocacy has been endorsed by thirty-one participants of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts including the following:
- Boston Center for Independent Living
- Disability Resource Center, Inc.
- Easterseals Massachusetts
- Greater Boston Chapter of the United Spinal Association
- Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, Alison Weingarten, Executive Director, Arlene Germain, Policy Director
- Stavros Center for Independent Living, Yashira Ruiz
- Irene Cramer
- Judith Fonsh, MSW
- Sandy Hovey
- Mike Kennedy, Center for Living & Work, Inc.
- Paul J. Lanzikos
- James A. Lomastro, PhD
- Sandra Allyssa Novack, MBA, MSW
- Janice Philpot