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Frequently Asked Questions


Counties eligible for I-HOPE community engagement are ranked high on national risk indexes, such as the Surgo Ventures collaboration to determine COVID-19 impact as well as the CDC Social Vulnerability Index.

  • Very-high-risk Indiana Counties on the 2021 COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI): Cass, Daviess, Elkhart, Lake and Wayne (Marion County covered under separate CDC funding)
  • High-risk Indiana counties on the 2021 COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI): Adams, Allen, Clark, Clinton, Fayette, Grant, Jackson, Jay, Jefferson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Madison, Marshall, Noble, Ripley, Scott, St. Joseph, Tipton, Vanderburgh and Vigo
  • Moderate-to-high-risk Indiana counties on the 2016 Social Vulnerability Index (SVI): Blackford, Delaware, Orange County, Sullivan and Switzerland

Counties eligible for I-HOPE community engagement are ranked high on national risk indexes, such as the Surgo Ventures collaboration to determine COVID-19 impact as well as the CDC Social Vulnerability Index.

Natural disasters and infectious disease outbreaks can pose a threat to a community’s health. Socially vulnerable populations are especially at risk during public health emergencies because of factors like socioeconomic status, household composition, minority status, or housing type and transportation. In the U.S. today, people living in vulnerable communities are significantly more likely to die from COVID-19 than low vulnerability communities. 

The methodology for public health rankings can be found here.

I-HOPE will convene each county’s key stakeholders to work on solutions to amplify local strengths so that people can connect more effectively to programs, healthcare providers, services and resources. Each of Purdue’s five field implementation teams includes staff who have extensive experience in strategy building, mobilizing collaborators, analyzing value streams for root causes and systemic gaps. These teams also include health equity analysts to ensure no corner of the community is overlooked.

In the fall of 2021, the teams will begin reaching out to critical stakeholders—clinicians, pharmacies, employers, faith leaders, coalitions and others affiliated with populations at higher-risk and that are underserved—to inform community-level public health strategies. The five highest-risk counties will be engaged first followed by the remaining 25.

Short-term outcomes for targeted counties are anticipated to include:

  • Increased public knowledge of health disparities
  • Improved health self-advocacy among populations at higher risk and/or underserved through increased screenings for chronic disease
  • Increased county awareness of needs, assets and goals related to social determinants of health
  • Increased county-level capacity to address gaps in social determinants of health

Almost every state received health equity monies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, and they are asked to:

  • Develop new ways to prevent health disparities so everybody has a chance to maintain good health;
  • Find out why health disparities are occurring, especially among people who are experiencing a disproportionate burden of illness and death;
  • Look for ways to improve and expand what it takes to provide good clinical care and public health services; and
  • Get people fired up about advancing health equity so that, working together, they can discover innovative ways to connect people to quality healthcare.

Health equity is when everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion defines health equity in this way:

Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.” Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.

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