‘Raise the Rate’ campaign encourages people to get vaccines

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

Employees throughout the Brookwood Baptist Health system were dressed in red, blue and yellow on Wednesday, Aug. 4, as part of its “Raise the Rate” campaign.

The campaign theme was suggested by Lysa Jackson, a licensed physical therapist for the system, who wanted to create a visual form of encouragement to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Director of Clinical Quality Sue Esleck said Jackson suggested the campaign as a way to show excitement to help unvaccinated people feel more comfortable with getting the shot.

“She just had this thought that if we could demonstrate some excitement around vaccination, as opposed to trepidation, it would be a good way to spread encouragement,” Esleck said. “If we can get our healthcare heroes that have been vaccinated to participate and do our own splash on social media, it might encourage people to get the vaccine.”

The campaign was embraced by each of the hospitals in the system, including Alabaster’s Shelby Baptist Medical Center, and by their employees.

“They are so excited about it,” Esleck said. “The leadership team, the managers and everyone else is out there on the frontlines organizing to make sure it goes well. We hope that people will see our team and have questions about it. We want them to ask us why so we can give can give them resources.”

One of the reasons for implementing this campaign is the current surge of COVID-19 Delta variant cases. A lot of people have chosen not to get vaccinated, and the healthcare workers wanted to find a way to encourage them.

“We were concerned by the numbers we were seeing with this new Delta strain. People wanted to wait to get the vaccine at first, but it’s been seven months now.” Esleck said. ““We wanted to do this in a positive way,” We don’t want anyone to feel like they are being coerced. This is about building excitement for the hope of finally ending the pandemic, and the way we will get there is by raising the rate.”

One of the biggest motivating factors for this push is protecting children under the age of 12 who are not able to get the vaccine. With students returning to school Esleck said she hopes this push will encourage those around children to get the vaccine.

“We are also giving vaccines to our employees who have not gotten it for whatever reason,” Esleck said. “They don’t even have to leave work. We have also started vaccinating patients who want it. A lot of hospitals are doing that. One person at a time to increase the rate.”

Brookwood Baptist has a variety of resources available to those seeking a COVID-19 vaccine. More information is available at Brookwoodbaptisthealth.com.