4/15/2021 Elgin Area Pandemic Assistant Press Release

The Gail Borden Public Library District Foundation and Library District, in partnership with Centro de Informacion and in coordination with local, regional and state partners, will be assisting COVID-impacted people in our community as part of the Pandemic Health Navigator Program. The grant for this program is from the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), in partnership with the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) and funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).  The program will utilize Community Health Workers to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 through education and outreach, and integrates community health centers, community-based organizations, and public health partners to coordinate Illinois resources for the most vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Centro de Informacion will be a full partner on this project along with the City of Elgin, U-46 and many other organizations. 


The Community Health Care Workers will be referring covid impacted people to a vast number of resources in the community. They anticipate assisting people with vaccine sign up, rental, food, utility needs and more. Most, if not all, of the workers are bilingual. 


Perry Maier, Regional Coordinator of the IPHA grant, reached out to the library to ask them to participate in this effort.  Maier said, "We want this grant to help many, many people who need assistance. I was part of the original Census 2020 effort in Elgin and I experienced the power of dedicated people working together. We need those trusted messengers to help now." 


Karina Nava, Assistant to the City Manager, said, " The IPHA funding is very beneficial for our community. We’ve already seen how helpful the community health workers’ have been during their short time assisting at the new Kane/Cook Elgin mass vaccination site. We are excited to keep collaborating with Gail Borden Library and other Elgin agencies to help underserved populations overcome barriers in accessing covid-19 vaccines.” 


"We were honored to receive this funding and to do this work," said Mike Lee, Executive Director of the Gail Borden Public Library Foundation. 


"We are thankful that Martha Martinez will supervise our team," said Denise Raleigh of the Gail Borden Public Library, who will coordinate this grant.  "We have met with many organizations and the people at the YWCA that also received this grant, and we plan to coordinate our efforts to ensure that people know about this project that is happening to support them."


As the work begins, members of the Community Health Workers Team plan to be stationed at the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Main, Elgin, weekdays from 1 - 5 pm. 


For more information, please visit gailborden.info/covid help.


IPHA Regional Coordinator, Perry Maier's phone number is (630) 846-0883.