Hometown Alaska: Meeting vaccine hesitancy one client at a time

Community Health Workers with the Alaska Primary Care Association are deeply involved in the communities where they work. As such, they can be trusted guides to help under-served communities find better access to healthcare. With each client, CHWs educate and offer information and access to Covid vaccines. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Primary Care Association)

Community Health Workers are relatively new to Alaska. They come from the communities they serve. They get specialized training in communication and health systems, and their mission is to help guide people toward the health care they need.

Today that includes helping clients overcome COVID vaccine hesitancy. That resistance exists for many reasons: misinformation, mistrust and even indifference. Community Health Workers, or CHWs, talk through those issues.

On today’s Hometown Alaska, we meet two local workers in Anchorage. We’ll learn how they use “motivational interviewing” to have those difficult conversations with their clients.

This program is a part of Alaska Public Media’s Talk to Your Neighbor initiative, bringing trusted voices and good information to the community about the coronavirus.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome. Please join our conversation by dialing 550-8433.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Chahrlie Crooms, Community Health Worker – Certified Peer Support Specialist
  • Linda Tulimasealii, Community Health Worker – Certified Peer Support Specialist
  • RJ Fontaine, Health Promotions Coordinator, Alaska Primary Care Association


  • Alaska Primary Care Association, website
  • Anchorage Project Access website
  • Motivational Interviewing explained, website
  • How the virus is contagious, site recommended by CHW Chahrlie Crooms, website
  • Common questions about the coronavirus, answered in plain English, another site receommended by CHW Chahrlie Crooms, website
  • How can I talk to my friends and family about getting vaccinated for Covid 19, recommended by RJ Fontaine, website
  • Health Misinformation Toolkit, recommended by RJ Fontaine, website
  • Facebook, APCA Community Health Workers site
  • Linked In, APCA Community Health Workers site


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (10-11 a.m.)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (E-mails may be read on air).
  • Post your comment or question below (Comments may be read on air).
  • LIVE: Monday, March 28, 2022 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday, March 28, 2022 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.

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kmccoy (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Kathleen

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