AIRS/UWW Webinar - The Spectrum of COVID Vaccine Response

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Just when we felt we had a handle on COVID response, the vaccine is here and taking the country by storm! There is a  broad spectrum of response around this issue within the I&R network; from organizations getting impromptu calls about COVID and vaccination to 211’s making appointments who are under contract from local and state governments. Regardless of where your organization falls on that spectrum, there are struggles and obstacles. Join this conversation with your peers, led by a panel of individuals representing organizations responding across the spectrum, to uncover some possible solutions to the most difficult and time consuming issues .  

Topics include:

  • Finding and dispersing reliable vaccine information
  • Managing COVID calls when you have to refer callers elsewhere for an actual appointment (and they are mad)
  • Communication with local government entities
  • Scheduling and appointment coordination possibilities and models
  • Data, follow up and feedback
  • Staffing and volunteer management

Wherever you are on the response spectrum, you will find information during this call that will support your current efforts and lay a foundation for expanded response as opportunities arise.

Joshua B. Pedersen

Director of Network Operations & Performance

United Way Worldwide, Arlington, Virginia


Joshua B. Pedersen has worked and volunteered in the non-profit industry for 24 years.  He led the implementation of the 211 service throughout Utah, has served as Director of Services for the Utah Food Bank, as Vice President of United Way of Northern Utah, CEO of United Way of Frederick County, Maryland and as President of 211 Maryland.   Today Joshua works as 211 Director of Network Operations & Performance for United Way Worldwide. Joshua has served on way too many boards but especially likes working on those boards that improve non-profit governance and provides funding to capable service organizations.   Joshua has a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Weber State University.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending whatever time with his 3 children and baking.

Cara Kangas

Director of Partnerships

211info

Cara Kangas (she/her) is the Director of Partnerships with 211info, based in Portland, Oregon. She has previously filled roles in the Contact Center, as a Community Engagement Manager, and is a certified Community Resource Specialist Database Curator. She has also completed various FEMA trainings, including Public Information Officer courses, worked as a housing case manager, and studied Women Studies at the University of Washington (Go Huskies!). Cara is passionate about this work as she loves to help others figure out what makes them better leaders. Cara enjoys spending time with her two young kiddos and spouse, crafting, sending snail mail, and baking.

Hassan Hammoud

Executive Director

Michigan 2-1-1

Hassan is drawn to the kind of work that brings together many facets of society, finding great satisfaction in fostering cross-sector collaboration and integration to help solve our communities most pressing needs. He earned a Master of Social Work from Wayne State University in 2009, always believing that social work was more of a life-long calling than a career, he gains a great deal of personal and professional satisfaction in his ability to assist and empower vulnerable populations. With over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, he now serves as the Executive Director of Michigan 2-1-1, where he works to strengthen the foundational partnerships and systems that provide access to community resources for hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents each year.

Hassan professional experience includes a multitude of positions within United Way and 211, including Team Leader, Operations Manager, Director of 211, Director of Community Impact and Director of Community Engagement and Outreach. In addition to his work with United Way and 211, Hassan’s experience includes medical case management in the homecare industry as well as instructing undergraduate classes in the foundational principals of social welfare and social justice, multi-cultural understanding and sociology at the University of Detroit Mercy. In service to his local and regional community, Hassan serves on several state and local boards, councils and committees, including Michigan Citizen-Community Emergency Response Coordinating Council, University of Detroit Mercy School, the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, Michigan AIRS, and the Michigan Homeless Policy Action Council. Additionally, Hassan served as the Chairperson of the Michigan 2-1-1 Operations Council and on the Michigan 211 Board of Advisors for two years.

Juanita McDaniel

Manager, 211 Network Engagement

United Way Worldwide, Arlington, Virginia


Juanita McDaniel is United Way’s Manager of 211 Network Engagement and supports a nationwide network of United Ways and non-profit agencies that address over 14 million requests for assistance each year. Her primary role is collaborating closely with and supporting 211 leaders across the network to further the team’s strategic goals to enable 211 innovation and operational excellence. Prior to joining the team at UWW, Juanita served as the 211 Manager at United Way of the CSRA for 6 years, where she developed and implemented programs and initiatives the addressed the issues of lack of food access for seniors and school preparedness for youth in low-income communities. Juanita understands that key role that 211 plays in our community and understands that we must develop new and innovative strategies to broaden our reach, help our community overcome barriers and access resources. In the community Juanita serves on the local Continuum of Care, the County Emergency Planning Committee as well as numerous coalitions focused on veterans, healthcare, homelessness and youth. Outside of work, Juanita enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Sawyer Baker

Manager, 211

United Way Worldwide

Sawyer Baker is the Manager for 211 at United Way Worldwide. She supports the 211 network in providing unmatched, critical services to those who need it most. Sawyer leads innovative technology partnerships to increase 211's ability to provide direct services, like Ride United. Sawyer has guided Ride United's expansion since it was first launched in 2018 to include the provision of thousands of free rides to clients to and from job interviews, non-emergency medical appointments, and other necessary appointments as well as the provision of hundreds of thousands of free deliveries to clients needing essential food and supplies.

Prior to joining United Way Worldwide, Sawyer was a Program Officer at the American Red Cross’s Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC). During her time at the GDPC, Sawyer helped develop the Business Preparedness Initiative, aimed at protecting livelihoods and promoting community resilience by providing small businesses with adaptable preparedness tools and services. Sawyer also worked in Geneva and Bangkok as staff-on-loan supporting the IFRC Secretariat and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, respectively. Sawyer holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from Iowa State University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University.

Betsy Schuster, MSAS, CRS

VP of Program Development

Helpline Center South Dakota

Betsy Schuster is the Vice President of Program Development at the Helpline Center in Sioux Falls, SD. In her role over the past 5 ½ years, Betsy provides program development and implementation to various programs through the 211 Helpline ensuring those needing resources and hope are connected to the vast array of services available. One of her proudest moments was assisting in the launch of 211 statewide in South Dakota this past July after years of advocacy and education across the state. She loves connecting big ideas to practical solutions. She believes incorporating new technology ideas and platforms is the road to the future, but the vehicle to success is the power of the human connection and the empathy we provide to one another. Prior to joining the Helpline Center team, Betsy worked for two different United Ways in community impact and campaign. Betsy has a bachelor’s degree in Government/International Affairs and Business Administration from Augustan University with a master’s in Organizational Leadership from the University of South Dakota. Currently, Betsy is pursuing a graduate certificate from Colorado State University in Advanced Clinical Behavioral Health. She and her husband, Matt, stay busy outside of work with their 3 year old daughter – Maya, and 22 month old son – Ryker.

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AIRS/UWW Webinar - The Spectrum of COVID Vaccine Response
02/16/2021 at 2:00 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
02/16/2021 at 2:00 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes Just when we felt we had a handle on COVID response, the vaccine is here and taking the country by storm! There is a broad spectrum of response around this issue within the I&R network; from organizations getting impromptu calls about COVID and vaccination to 211’s making appointments who are under contract from local and state governments. Regardless of where your organization falls on that spectrum, there are struggles and obstacles. Join this conversation with your peers, led by a panel of individuals representing organizations responding across the spectrum, to uncover some possible solutions to the most difficult and time consuming issues . Topics include: Finding and dispersing reliable vaccine information Managing COVID calls when you have to refer callers elsewhere for an actual appointment (and they are mad) Communication with local government entities Scheduling and appointment coordination possibilities and models Data, follow up and feedback Staffing and volunteer management Wherever you are on the response spectrum, you will find information during this call that will support your current efforts and lay a foundation for expanded response as opportunities arise.