Nebraska DHHS and Partners to Host Two Online Town Halls to Reach Out to Minority Communities in Nebraska

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2/25/2021

Jeff Powell, (402) 471-6223,


Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and partners are working with various organizations to reach out to minority communities to discuss the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as listen to concerns and feedback Nebraskans.

Two online town halls will take place on February 25th and will be hosted by Bluestem Health, a registered federally qualified health center (FQHC) based in Lincoln, and the New Era Baptist State Convention, an organization of historically African American Baptist Churches in Nebraska.

Bluestem Health Online Town Hall 3:30 PM on February 25

Nebraska DHHS and Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) will join Bluestem Health in Lincoln for an online town hall.

Bluestem Health has an FQHC designation status and serves over 19,000 patients annually. Forty to forty-five percent of Bluestem's patients speak another language as their primary means of communication.

Bluestem is dedicated to providing high-quality medical, dental, and behavioral health services, easy access to care, and affordable services, all through one health organization.


  • Brad Meyer, Bluestem Health CEO (Moderator)
  • Josie Rodriguez, Administrator, Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity, Nebraska DHHS
  • Dr. Michael Israel, Bluestem Health
  • Dr. Josue Gutierrez, Saline Medical Specialties
  • Bernice Afuh, MS, RN, Manager, Community Health Services, LLCHD
  • Tim Timmons RN, BSN, Supervisor, Communicable Disease Program, LLCHD


Webex Event Meeting

Event password: vaccine​

New Era Baptist State Convention Online Town Hall 7:00 PM on February 25

DHHS and the Douglas County Health Department will join the New Era Baptist State Convention based in Omaha for an online town hall. New Era is an organization consisting of historically African American Baptist churches throughout Nebraska and exists to build a network of churches organized to encourage and equip the local church to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.​


Thursday, February 25, 2021, 7:00 PM


  • Dwayne Hawkins, President of New Era Baptist State Convention of Nebraska
  • CEO Dannette R. Smith, Nebraska DHHS
  • Dr. Adi Pour, Douglas County Health Director
  • Dr. Leah Damiani Strain, Creighton University School of Medicine

Where: ZOOM Meeting

Meeting ID: 883 9427 7558

Passcode: 007704

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