Tracing Health helps to advance health equity by creating quality jobs with benefits in communities hit hard by the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn. In hiring, we prioritize language and communication skills as well as lived experience over formal education, acknowledging that the most important qualifications in this work are the ability to engender trust and communicate in a way that works for the people we serve.
When COVID-19 arrived, it brought with it a wave of unemployment and economic instability. Due to longstanding inequities rooted in systemic racism, communities of color – who were at greater risk of serious symptoms and death from COVID-19 – were also more likely to lose their jobs causing both housing and food insecurity.
In a matter of months Tracing Health recruited over 600 qualified team members, primarily from communities of color. All Tracing Health team members have full PHI benefits, receive extensive and ongoing job training and the tools to work remotely. To reach the candidates we needed, Tracing Health worked through community partners, health systems, public health departments, and word of mouth.
72% of Tracing Health team members identify as Black, Indigenous, or other people of color. The diversity of our workforce reflects the diversity of the populations we serve which helps build trust and improves health equity in these communities.
Women make up 63% of the Tracing Health frontline workforce. With flexible work hours and remote working equipment provided to all team members Tracing Health has allowed many workers to stay in the workforce who otherwise may have been forced out by pandemic related conditions.
60% of Tracing Health contact tracers and resource coordinators come directly from the communities they serve. By offering quality jobs that serve their own communities our team members are able to both lift their communities economically and offer more trusted and therefore more effective public health services and information.