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Hispanic Liaison Laura Gutierrez receives Community Hero Award

| October 17, 2021, 04:59 PM

AwardHispanic Community Services Specialist Laura Gutierrez from the Office of Mayor Gavin Buckley was named one of the “Community Hero” award recipients by the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus.

The award, “celebrates incredible community leaders who made a difference during the pandemic,” according to an announcement by the group. The awards are presented during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 to Oct. 15).

The Arc of Central Maryland

Created in 2014, the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus serves as a forum for members of the General Assembly to identify and confront key issues affecting Latinos. Through activism, outreach, and community engagement, the Caucus aims to be a strong voice for Latinos, and to improve the lives of all Marylanders.

Gutierrez started with the Mayor’s office in mid-May of 2020, the early days of the pandemic. Shortly after starting employment with the City, she recognized a need to connect with hard-to-reach populations who had disproportionately high rates of COVID and limited access to health care. Laura found grant funding and established the “Take Care” Annapolis program, where teams of bilingual health workers were deployed into communities to distribute resources, inform residents about COVID-19 and other public health issues, and deliver COVID-19 testing. When vaccines became available, the Take Care team ran vaccination clinics. In addition, the team surveyed residents about their needs and launched a texting platform to quickly inform residents of COVID outbreaks, food resources and other information.

Since launching the program, Gutierrez has been contacted by state and federal agencies who seek to learn from her experiences.

“I am so proud of the work that Laura has done,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “I know that the Latino community in Annapolis is well-served by her presence. I am happy the Latino Caucus is recognizing these contributions with the Community Hero award. I thank Laura and congratulate her and her fellow recipients.”

Category: Annapolis Gives, Local News, NEWS

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