Dynamic Communications Key to COVID-19 Vaccine Success at Geisinger

Geisinger is working to keep its patients, health care teams and communities educated and vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Headquartered in Danville, Pa., Geisinger has 13 hospital campuses, two research centers and a college of medicine, and serves more than 3 million residents in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania and beyond.

The health system has organized a comprehensive coronavirus resource page where residents can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine or test.

Throughout the pandemic, Geisinger has been actively serving marginalized populations who may be particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. For example, in Luzerne County, the most populous part of the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, reported infections once jumped from 100 to 400 individuals overnight. Most of these new cases were in the city of Hazelton, where Hispanics and Latinos constitute over 37% of the population. In response, Geisinger produced more educational resources in Spanish and added a Spanish-language option on its COVID-19 hotline.

Geisinger’s bold and responsive approach to messaging isn’t limited to the Spanish-speaking community. As described in this study, Geisinger tested individualized, targeted email “nudges” to its health care workers during the early stages of the vaccine release. The creative messaging resulted in a significant boost to the number of employees who signed up for a vaccine appointment, versus those who were only on a mass email list.

Geisinger also has highlighted stories of those who “work endlessly inside and outside our hospitals’ walls” under the hashtag #LongLiveHeroes. These inspiring tales of people dealing with complicated situations around the pandemic are valuable resources in the campaign against vaccine misinformation.

The health system has done something similar in video. For example, Geisinger nurse informatician Jana Kass and her husband Dan Landesberg, an associate vice president at Geisinger, speak from the heart about their decision to get vaccinated as Jana became pregnant with their first child.

As COVID-19 cases increase across the U.S. due to the delta variant, the Geisinger team has continued keeping its communities informed with key messaging. In a 30-second update posted Aug. 11 on YouTube, Alison Brodginski, D.O, director, infectious diseases, at Geisinger Northeast, said, “Now is not the time that we give up. Now is the time that we realize that there is some light at the end of this tunnel.” She added, “Vaccines — I look at them as an added layer to everything that we’re currently doing. It’s not a replacement of something.”

Follow along to hear more from Geisinger’s trusted experts discussing COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine side effects and immunity, and COVID-19 variants.