JOMETRA HAWKINS is often called a “community translator.” Through her past work, she has served as a bridge between communities and policymakers, uncovering and communicating the needs of residents in underserved communities and advocating for policies that will help lift their socioeconomic status. She has overseen key health initiatives in Houston and surrounding areas and currently serves as the co-chair of the African American Health Coalition. She is also a former co-chair of the Acres Homes Health Action team, which was created as part of the City of Houston’s Complete Communities Initiative. Prior to that, Jometra studied at Texas Southern University, where she earned a Bachelor of Education.
As of summer 2021, Harris County has managed over 381,000 cases and nearly 6,000 deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic and it remains at its highest threat level. Despite these challenges, the County, in partnership with the City of Houston, is administering up to 42,000 vaccines a week, prioritizing equity in distribution and outreach. Now, it is looking to sustain and enhance its COVID-19 response operations over the long term to reach herd immunity and commence reopening. The County will partner with FUSE to implement a dynamic strategy to improve its pandemic response efforts, including advancing personal preventive measures and implementing effective vaccine distribution and community outreach strategies, including raising awareness of COVID-19 initiatives in critical communities. FUSE will liaise between departments, coordinating technical operations and community outreach and utilizing data to drive decision-making and policy.