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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / September 2020 / Six Feet Saves COVID-19 Campaign Receives Local Community Award

Six Feet Saves COVID-19 Campaign Receives Local Community Award

Stay home, stop the spread of COVID-19, sixfeetsaves.orgThe UR CTSI and Center for Community Health and Prevention (CCHP) were among 13 community organizations honored by Causewave Community Partners for producing the “Six Feet Saves” community outreach campaign. The UR CTSI and CCHP played pivotal roles in developing the campaign, which emphasized the importance of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The campaign – and the community coalition that developed it – received the W. B. Potter Founders Award at Causewave’s Annual Wavemaker Celebration on Friday, September 11. The award recognizes a results-oriented collaborative initiative that both fills a community need and serves as a role model for other partnerships.

“When our community faced its biggest health challenge in 100 years, it was clear we needed something to rally around. So many people and organizations answered the call,” said Todd Butler, Causewave’s President & CEO. “From the public servants in the health department to the communications professionals at Partners + Napier to our local media community to businesses and nonprofits, this was a joint effort like I’ve never seen. Everyone was hungry to do their part in saving lives.”

 “Six Feet Saves” was launched in just a matter of weeks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leveraging a variety of media channels - from television ads to murals, lawn signs and sidewalk paint – the campaign reached hundreds of thousands of Monroe County residents.

While the campaign cannot claim all of the credit, it has likely played an important role in keeping Monroe County’s COVID-19 death rate down. According to data compiled by The New York Times, Monroe County has had the lowest rate of deaths from COVID-19 (per 100,000 residents) among the 15 largest counties in New York State.

The UR CTSI and CCHP, which both have expertise and experience with engaging the community in health research, were on the ground floor of developing the campaign with the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). The National Center for Deaf Health Research, part of the UR CTSI, was also essential in ensuring the campaign met the unique needs of Monroe County’s large Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing population.

“We are committed to supporting the MCDPH and engaging the community to promote health and prevent disease,” said Nancy Bennett, M.D., director of the CCHP and co-director of the UR CTSI. “When faced with this unprecedented health crisis, we knew we had to do whatever we could to help our community stay safe.”

The UR CTSI and CCHP also led the charge to engage other community partners, including Monroe County’s Community Engagement Task Force, which helped identify and distribute messaging to the county’s most vulnerable communities and neighborhoods. But the campaign could not have been successful without all of the collaboration and contributions of the full Six Feet Saves Coalition, listed below.

Members of the Six Feet Saves Coalition include:

  • More than 30 local media partners
  • Causewave Community Partners
  • City of Rochester Department of Communications
  • FUA Krew
  • Ibero American Action League
  • Mercury Print
  • Monroe County Department of Communications
  • Monroe County Department of Human Services
  • Monroe County Department of Public Health
  • Monroe County Systems Integration Project (COVID Response Community Engagement Task Force)
  • Paragon Steel Rule Die, Inc.
  • Partners + Napier
  • Rochester Regional Health
  • University of Rochester Center for Community Health & Prevention
  • University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Michael Hazard | 9/17/2020

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