May 28, 2020
Count Me In is a community initiative established to promote wellness within Erie’s most challenged neighborhood by addressing social factors.
Social factors such as housing, employment, and education can all impact health. In fact, many researchers attest that one’s zip code is a better predictor of health than their genetic code.
The first phase of Count Me In called for the door-to-door surveying of 658 households in Erie’s Lower Eastside to learn from residents about life in their neighborhood: Do you like where you live? What concerns you most? What is your vision for your neighborhood?
These detailed surveys were conducted by trained neighborhood residents, and findings can be used to pursue grants and other neighborhood solutions.
In the second phase of Count Me In, a resource fair and community celebration was scheduled to connect neighbors with services in housing, health care, and employment. However, COVID-19 forced a quick pivot; Count Me In team members instead assembled and distributed COVID care kits throughout the neighborhoods. Hamot Health Foundation purchased fabric masks while others, including the Erie County Department of Health and Primary Health Network, backed the project with additional kit components.
This same neighborhood has seen the highest incidence of COVID cases in all zones throughout Erie County, demonstrating the high level of need in this area. Despite challenges, Count Me In worked to support a healthier, better-connected neighborhood!
Sponsors of Count Me In include Hamot Health Foundation, Primary Health Network, UPMC for You, and Erie Insurance.