New project focuses on communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19

HealthierHere and Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health) today announced that 28 local organizations will receive a total of $2 million in funding as part of the King County Health Literacy Project. The partnership between HealthierHere and Public Health aims to improve public health messaging developed by and for communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Health Literacy Project is funded through a financial assistance award from the federal Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Recipients include 26 community-based organizations and two Federally Qualified Health Centers. Over the next 14 months, partners will improve the systems for developing and disseminating culturally and linguistically responsive information about COVID-19.

In King County, rates of COVID-19 have been two to five times higher among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Latinx, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents compared to non-Hispanic white residents. The Health Literacy Project focuses on south Seattle and south King County – areas with high proportions of people of color and low-income residents disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

“We are committed to centering community voices to ensure those closest to health disparities are closest to the solutions,” says Marya Gingrey, JD, Chief Strategy Officer of HealthierHere. “These organizations are trusted community advisors. They have the expertise to develop messaging and mechanisms that are meaningful and relevant to help people in their communities achieve the health outcomes that they desire for themselves.”

“With our county’s declaration of Racism is a Public Health Crisis, authentic and accountable engagement and co-creation are essential to address racial inequities deepened by the pandemic,” says Matías Valenzuela, PhD, Director of the Office of Equity & Community Partnerships at Public Health. “Through this exciting collaboration, we seek to transform our public health literacy system to be driven by the perspectives and strengths of our communities.”

Recipients will work closely with HealthierHere and Public Health to co-design a Health Literacy Training curriculum, Health Literacy and Sustainability Plan, participate in project evaluation, and co-facilitate health literacy training sessions at Public Health and in healthcare settings. The project is currently funded through July of 2023.

The Health Literacy Project plans to partner with:
Advocates of Sacred
African Leaders Health Board
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together For Health (APICAT)*
Association of Zambians in Seattle WA (AZISWA)
Center for Multicultural Health (CMCH)*
Congolese Integration Network*
East African Community Services
Eritrean Association in Greater Seattle
Ethiopian Community in Seattle
Fanikia Foundation
Horn of Africa Services
Interim CDA
International Community Health Services (ICHS)*
Khalsa Gurmat Center*
Khmer Community of Seattle King County*
Kin On Health Care Center*
Lifelong Health for All*
Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW)*
Metropolitan Seattle Sickle Cell Task Force*
Para Los Niños
Sea Mar Community Health Centers*
Serve Ethiopians Washington
Somali Bridge
United Communities of Laos
UTOPIA Washington
White Center Community Development Association*
Villa Comunitaria
Zanzibar Community of Washington, USA (ZACUSA)

*Twelve organizations will also serve as “Advisory Group Participants,” helping to steer the project’s design, implementation, evaluation, and accountability.


About HealthierHere
HealthierHere is a non-profit, multi-sector collaborative dedicated to eliminating health disparities in King County through collective action. Our work centers on and is guided by those who experience inequity and racism in our health and social systems. We work with cross-sector partners to develop and champion community and tribal-driven solutions that reflect the cultures and needs of the people they serve. HealthierHere acts as a hub for our region, leveraging our network and resources to address systemic inequities, urgent public health needs, and complex problems that no organization or sector can solve on its own. More at

About Public Health – Seattle & King County
Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for more than two million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health – Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day. More at

The Health Literacy Project is supported by the federal Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $3.85 million with 100 percent funded by OMH/OASH/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by OMH/OASH/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Graeme Aegerter


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