Thumbnail is UNM employee receiving vaccine and the banner is the 10 to 100 logo
By Michael Haederle

Race to the Top

UNM’s 10 to 100 Challenge Boosts Employee Vaccination Rate

The puzzle of how to persuade health care workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations is a tricky one, but The University of New Mexico Health System may have cracked the case, thanks to an innovative employee engagement effort.

In early May, just before UNM Health launched its 10 to 100 Challenge, 85 percent of its 10,555 employees had been vaccinated. By May 24, when the challenge had concluded, that figure had grown to 91.5 percent.

The 10-day multi-platform blitz, which ran from May 10 to May 19, was designed to engage health systems across the country in a friendly competition to see who could get the highest percentage of their employees vaccinated.

“The 10 to 100 Challenge demonstrated that with creative approaches to engaging our employees we can move the needle on vaccinations,” said Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President of Health Sciences and CEO of the UNM Health System.

Each day of the challenge focused on different topics surrounding the vaccine, with a dedicated website featuring testimonials from Health System employees, videos, social media posts, media phone banks and more. By the end of the 10 days, UNM ranked first, ahead of eight other major U.S. health systems.

The 10 to 100 Challenge made extensive use of social media platforms, garnering 2,100 link clicks, 78,000 video views and 359,000 impressions on Facebook. It also saw 30,000 impressions and 5,000 video views on Instagram and 130,000 impressions and 20,300 video views on Twitter.

Ziedonis conceived the challenge in partnership with the Earth 2.0 team at the University of California, San Diego, where he previously served as associate vice chancellor for Health Sciences prior to coming to UNM in late 2020.

A key takeaway from the challenge was that personal connections were key to swaying opinions about whether to get vaccinated, Ziedonis said.

“We provided folks with lots of good information on our web and social media platforms, but the ingredient that made the most difference was peer engagement,” Ziedonis said. “People were more influenced by their friends and family members than any other source of information.”



Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH

Working to increase the number of vaccinated people in our state is a natural outgrowth of our mission is to promote the health and well-being of all New Mexicans

Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH

Health systems, businesses, municipalities and states across the nation are offering various incentives to increase the percentage of vaccinated people and forestall another resurgence of the coronavirus.

On June 1, the state of New Mexico announced its vaccine lottery, open to residents who have been vaccinated and includes a grand prize of $5 million. At the same time, leaders of nearly 100 U.S. municipalities launched the month-long Mayors Challenge to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations.

UNM Health’s success in persuading workforce members to get vaccinated can be replicated in communities throughout New Mexico, Ziedonis said. “Working to increase the number of vaccinated people in our state is a natural outgrowth of our mission is to promote the health and well-being of all New Mexicans.”

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