Member News

Foellinger Foundation Announces Vaccine Awareness Grant to St. Joseph Community Health Foundation

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Foellinger Foundation announces it has awarded a $55,000 Critical Response Grant to The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation in a partnership to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts for those with the greatest economic need and least opportunity.

The grant will help The St. Joe Foundation address the lower rate of awareness and trust in vaccinations among Black, Hispanic, Burmese, and other underserved communities in Allen County.

“We are pleased to partner with The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation’s outreach and educational efforts to increase awareness about vaccine importance and availability,” said Ed Kominowski, president and CEO, Foellinger Foundation.

St. Joe Foundation will offer COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Grants up to $5,000 to community groups such as churches, non-profits, and clubs. The funds will be used to combat barriers such as transportation, childcare, language, uncertainty, and mistrust. Any organization wishing to apply should visit

“We’re honored to join this important work to ensure that everyone has access to a vaccine,” said Meg Distler, executive director of The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation. “We recognize there are many barriers to residents getting the vaccine, and it’s going to take all of us working together to overcome them.”

“Transportation is a major issue for many people during normal times, let alone in the face of the pandemic. Because of this grant, we will be able to provide 600 rides for people in our community,” said Justin Clupper, Executive Director at Community Transportation Network. “We will also provide matching dollars in a partnership through Uber.“

“The disproportionate numbers of African Americans and Latinos who suffered serious illness, death, and economic hardship during the pandemic shined a light on health disparities that we all must work to overcome. Today, we see these funds—not as a way to coerce anyone into taking the vaccine—but as a means of helping to provide accurate information and to answer questions in ways that people of different cultures can relate to and understand,” explained Sharon Tubbs, Director of HealthVisions Fort Wayne.

“At the Center for Nonviolence, we will support translation and interpretation, as well as pay for staff time so we can reach out to our clients and ensure they have the information they need to make informed decisions,” said Ana Giusti, Latina Coordinator. “Then, together, we can help overcome other barriers, such as making an appointment to receive a vaccine and arranging for transportation.”

Learn more about the funding opportunity at

Click HERE to view the press announcement video featuring, Ed Kominowski, President and CEO, Foellinger Foundation; Meg Distler, Executive Director, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation; Sharon Tubbs, Director, HealthVisions Fort Wayne; Justin Clupper, Executive Director, Community Transportation Network (CTN) and Ana Giusti, Latina Coordinator, Center for Nonviolence.

Visit Foellinger Foundation's website for more information on the Foundation’s ongoing support of efforts to address the pandemic’s effects on our community (

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