launches to help in the COVID-19 fight

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 377 views 

Ending the pandemic depends on as many Arkansans receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as possible – and Arkansas businesses will play a major role in helping that happen. A new website to aid in that endeavor, launched Tuesday (March 23).

The business-to-business website is offered through a partnership with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC), the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Council and Walmart, and a major focus of the Vaccinate the Natural State initiative, which kicked off February 22.

“Arkansas’ business leaders play a vital role providing COVID-19 vaccine information to their employees,” said Curtis Barnett, president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “Through these resources, we want to empower employers to provide accurate and helpful information while encouraging their workforces to get the vaccine. Business-to-Business engagement is a primary focus for the Vaccinate the Natural State initiative, and our statewide communities will benefit when Arkansas businesses choose to take action in the fight against COVID-19.”

The goal of is to empower business leaders to encourage employees to be vaccinated. The site provides objective information and educational resources such as video modules, communication toolkits, and outreach to help guide businesses in communications as more COVID-19 vaccines are made available. The initiative was specifically designed to arm employers with the knowledge to guide their employees through the vaccination process and the operations of getting employees back to work.

“As the state’s designated quality improvement organization, we are proud to partner with organizations who share our commitment to a healthy Arkansas and to offer these critical resources to Arkansas businesses,” added Ray Hanley, AFMC president and CEO. “Local businesses are key in educating their community members on the importance of this vaccine for a safer tomorrow. In providing accurate information and ready-to-go resources, a large number of businesses in our state will be able to confidently and easily inform employees on the importance of receiving the vaccine.”

Other resources on the site include video guides, printable materials, vaccine news, trusted resource links, a social media toolkit, and answers to frequently asked questions. Topics include tips for internal communications to employees, expert information and advice on vaccine safety, and legal rights and responsibilities for employers.

“These resources will help employers navigate internal communications with employees who may be hesitant or have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Ryan Cork, executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Council Health Care Transformation Division. “Businesses now have access to valuable resources that will help Arkansans understand the benefits of the vaccine and encourage them to make the choice to protect themselves, their co-workers and their communities.”