Mass vaccination site, Baltimore             

In collaboration with the VALUE initiative of Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) that is working to achieve population immunity against COVID-19 through a vaccination effort that is supported by residents, community organizations, and businesses across the city.

VALUE stands for Vaccine Acceptance and Access Lives in Unity, Engagement and Education.

Critical to achieving population immunity is mounting an urgent effort to learn from the community what is needed in order to educate and address vaccine hesitancy and access through mass communications and in populations of Baltimore City residents that are vulnerable due to increased risk of exposure to or severe disease stemming from COVID-19:

  • Underserved older adults
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness and/or living in congregate settings
  • Latinx community
  • Hasidic community
  • Pregnant and lactating individuals
  • Young men (16-24 years old)
  • Immigrants and refugees
  • People with disability

In addition, BCHD plans to engage with faith-based and community leaders in vulnerable neighborhoods across the city in the effort to educate residents about the vaccine and emphasize on the need for training and education content tailored to these leaders.

How might we encourage Baltimore residents to get vaccinated through trusted communications?

January 2021 - present

Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD)

International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC)

Morgan State University (MSU) 

MICA’s Center for Social Design (CSD)

Becky Slogeris (Associate Director, CSD)

Design Researcher and Communications Strategist

Baltimore Sun
Official press release


This project is a collaborative effort of these 4 institutional partners. As part of the effort at MICA, I assisted the Associate Director of the Center to conduct a Practice-Based Studio - a class with 5 students that worked through the human-centered design process to better understand COVID-19 vaccine access and hesitancy in order to suggest communication strategies.

Listening Session 01


Research included virtual focus groups or listening sessions where we facilitated conversations around vaccine hesitancy and access. We also conducted brainstorming sessions as part of gathering data around what the residents of Baltimore needed to ensure an easy process to access COVID-19 vaccines.

We also conducted virtual poll sessions as live surveys to assess and gather information.

Currently we have conducted listening sessions and surveys with:
+ Older Adults
+ Latinx
+ Pregnant & Breastfeeding
+ Immigrant
+ Orthodox Jewish
+ Marginally Housed
+ Young Men

      We created visual notes to better reflect back on what we heard from the community.


To better understand data, we created empathy maps and ecosystem maps.
Empathy maps helped map the behaviours of our community and gain a deeper understanding of their fears and desires. 
Ecosystem maps were important to understand the environment that the user lived and functioned in. It was also crucial to look at gaps in these connections and think about which connections could be leveraged for a community-centric solution.


Using MURAL, we mapped out and clustered ideas and thought through an impact/effort matrix to think about which ideas to focus on.

The prototypes went through a long process of concept approval and design to come to a final strategy for community-specific outcomes. We set some criteria to work through these ideas and looked at the overall strategy for direction.

Listening Session 02


The 1st listening sessions made clear the gap that was felt by the communities in understanding the process that led them to a safe vaccination experience. We developed a journey map and a brochure that touched on community-specific FAQs and vaccine access journeys.


*This is still an on-going project. Get in touch to know more!
︎︎︎ BACK

 2020 ︎Eesha Patne ︎