Mayor Gavin Buckley
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Media contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ABIM Foundation Awards $110K to Two
Organizations Combating Medical Misinformation
Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis and Factchequeado are identifying and
countering health misinformation in diverse communities
ANNAPOLIS, June 8, 2022 – The City of Annapolis Cuidate/Take Care team was awarded a $30,000 grant to expand communications and outreach effort by the ABIM Foundation, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that seeks to help correct the scourge of medical misinformation which experienced a resurgence during the pandemic, especially among Black and Latino populations. In all, ABIM is awarding $110,000 in grants, as announced today.
The grants seek to blunt the kind of propaganda that particularly plagued people from Black and Latino communities as the COVID-19 pandemic raged. Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis and Factchequeado were selected by an expert panel of judges.
“Far too many families have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic because they were misled by medical misinformation that spread fear and distrust in medicine,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation. “Factchequeado and Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis are just two great examples of programs that are working to provide accurate medical information where it’s needed most and build their trust in medical professionals.”
Mitigating medical misinformation will require myriad approaches to better understand promising opportunities to ensure patients and the public get accurate, evidence-based information they can use to make the right decisions for them and their families. Plus, it helps build and restore trust in science and the medical professionals who should be the primary sources of medical advice.
Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis
The $30,000 grant will enable Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis, a health education outreach program born in the Annapolis Mayor’s office during the pandemic, to expand its reach beyond the COVID-19 information it dispensed to Latino and Black communities during the health emergency to include support for persons with chronic illnesses.
Latino and Black team members conduct door-to-door outreach in and around Annapolis, offering culturally and linguistically appropriate education materials, addressing health questions and concerns, and connecting families to much needed resources like food and health care.
In addition to extreme health dangers experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Latino and Black communities in Annapolis also suffered housing instability, food insecurity, and a lack of health care. And while 21 percent of Annapolis residents in 2020 identified as Latino , the Anne Arundel County (MD) Department of Health reported that more than 70 percent of Annapolis’ COVID-19-positive cases were Latino people.
“While this program was borne out of an immediate need to get timely information into hard-to-reach populations, we have since learned the need extends beyond the pandemic,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “With this grant we can continue doing pop-up vaccine and testing clinics, while also working on more conditions like diabetes and heart disease that were problems for residents before COVID struck.”
Factchequeado, a project by Maldita.es and Chequeado, is the first organized effort to address Spanish-language misinformation in the U.S., and has received an $80,000 grant to monitor and respond to misinformation claims, with a focus on those that are trending on WhatsApp. Factchequeado pushes high-quality information where misinformation is spreading, rather than depending on individuals to seek out factual health information independently.
Through the grant, Factchequeado will also partner with Spanish-language media organizations and with fact-checking entities to help them produce more content in Spanish.
Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S. are especially vulnerable to misinformation, with Spanish-language misinformation on social media platforms flourishing and oftentimes going unchallenged. A 2021 Nielsen report found that Hispanic people are 57 percent more likely to use social media as a primary source of information about COVID-19. And young Hispanic adults are more than twice as likely as the general population to use messaging apps like WhatsApp.
About the ABIM Foundation
The ABIM Foundation’s mission is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policymakers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit www.abimfoundation.org, connect on LinkedIn or follow on Twitter.
ABIM Foundation Media Contact: Jaime McClennen, 609-703-6909 email@example.com