Community Care Member Update
Today’s Spotlight is on Atchison Community Health Clinic, which began participating in the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program this week. The first direct federal shipment of 100 Moderna doses arrived Tuesday.
CEO Stevie Durkin attributed the health center’s invitation for the federal initiative “to the vulnerable and rural population that we serve.”
He said that Atchison County Health Clinic (ACHC) also employs a mobile approach, which also could have led to the health center’s inclusion.
“ACHC is taking a mobile approach and going to local employers to vaccinate their staff and family members,” Durkin said. “(We also) will facilitate outreach efforts to nearby communities that have transportation concerns.”
The health center has been collaborating with other local healthcare providers from the local hospital, health department and emergency management in an effort called “NEK Shot of Hope.” A website (here) is used to provide COVID-19 vaccine information for northeast Kansas residents. The site provides updates and has an online registration system for appointments.
“For outreach efforts,” Durkin said, “we’ve been funneling all communication and activity to the website, which has been successful, as well as set up a phone hotline for those that don’t have access to the internet.”
Following ACHC’s initial state allocation that was used for healthcare workers, the health center began coordinating mass vaccination clinics. Staffing was provided by ACHC, the hospital and the health department.
“Together we’ve been able to vaccinate quite a few community members and are now reaching a point where interest in the vaccine appears to be declining with appointment slots still available at times,” he said. “We’re hopeful that a transition through all phases of vaccine eligibility will improve response.”
Durkin noted that coronavirus testing numbers also have been steadily decreasing over the past five to six weeks for all the partner providers.
Still, Durkin said they will continue trying to get vaccines in as many arms as possible through mobile efforts such as the vaccination event conducted by ACHC nurses (pictured) yesterday at a local manufacturer.