The Tacoma-Pierce County Dept. of Health has a $600K budget to hire PR firms for COVID-19 outreach to Black, Hispanic, Native American and Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander communities that are more likely than white people to contract the virus due to health inequities.

The RFP describes those inequities as poverty, systemic discrimination, violence, pollution, displacement and crippled local economies.

The COVID-19 infection rate among the Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander groups is 4.8 times higher than whites in Pierce County.

That HOPI demographic, which comprises 1.6 percent of the county's population, accounts for 6 percent of overall cases.

Infection rates among Hispanic, Black, and Native American residents are 2-3 times higher than the rate among whites.

The Dept. is looking for firms or groups able to develop targeted culturally grounded messaging to inform the various communities about available COVID-19 resources

The RFP states: "A culturally grounded approach develops programs, strategy, communications, and policies collaboratively and evolves from the 'ground up.' It starts from the values, behaviors, norms, and worldviews of communities intended to be served; it is closely connected to the lived experiences and core cultural constructs of the focus communities."

The desired partners will have the "capacity and credibility to engage the community in ways that promote healing and resilience while getting important information to them."

Since Pierce County has high rates of COVID-19, it wants to quickly hire communicators to help reduce disease transmission.

The Dept. will issue contracts ranging from $10K to $100K for work that begins Sept. 1.

Because the effort is funded by the federal CARES Act, the outreach must be completed by Dec. 30.

Responses are due Aug. 19. They go to:

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
3629 South D Street
Attn: Procurement Office
Tacoma, WA 98418-6813

Download RFP (PDF)