High turnout by community members for boosters, vaccines, and clothing giveaways
FLINT – Genesee Health Plan (GHP) provided its eighth Drive-Thru Vaccine Event to provide flu vaccines and was one of the first organizations in Genesee County to offer the new Omicron COVID-19 booster. Genesee County community members, current and former GHP members and city of Flint residents-including some from the deaf and hard of hearing community-attended the event. ASL Interpreters were available at the event, provided by the Communication Access Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Genesee County residents began lining up at 1 p.m., some even arriving at 9 a.m. to participate in the event by rolling down their windows and rolling up their sleeves to receive vaccines from their vehicles. Back to school giveaways for kids and a free clothing giveaway were also provided.
“Our last Drive-Thru Vaccine Event was very successful in bringing out all members of our community, including the deaf and hard of hearing,” said Jim Milanowski, president and CEO of GHP.
“We wanted to continue to provide an event that was all-inclusive of our community members and to provide attendees with information and resources they need to make the best decision for their health.” Milanowski added. “The demand for the new Omicron booster exceeded our expectations because we ran out of all COVID-19 vaccines and boosters at the event. We are very pleased with the turnout from community members.”
Through funding from the Genesee Community Health Center and Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the event encouraged 48 community members to receive their COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster at the event and 65 flu vaccines, 15 of whom were Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In total, 113 vaccines were administered along with vaccine education and information.
By providing interpreters again at this event, the Deaf and Hard of hearing individuals were able to have access to communication and participate in this community event,” said Theresa Miracle, executive director of the Communication Access Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
“The Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members were able to communicate and ask questions, understand what to expect and make an informed decision about getting their vaccine, making this event a win-win situation for all,” Miracle added.
As learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid use has spiked, contributing to an increase in opioid related deaths. In response, the Genesee Community Health Center utilized its Mobile Unit to provide Naloxone (Narcan) training and training kits to 23 community members.
GHP Health Navigators conducted 16 Cardiovascular Risk Screenings with A1C and cholesterol checks for women ages 40-64, a first for the Drive-Thru Vaccine Event.
R.L. Jones Community Outreach Center provided a clothing and basic needs giveaway to attendees of all ages. This was the first off-site event for R.L. Jones Community Outreach Center, which proved to be successful as children’s clothing was in high demand at the event in addition to clothing for adults in need.
“We are grateful to partner with Genesee Health Plan by meeting community members where they’re at to provide clothing and essential items including food while ensuring they are linked up to health care coverage,” said Mother Sandra Jones, executive director of R.L. Jones Community Outreach Center.
“This being the first offsite event for us, we were not sure what to expect until we saw attendees begin to line up,” Jones added. “We are very pleased to have helped so many community members at the event and look forward to participating in more events with GHP.”
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters were provided by the Genesee Community Health Center. Flu vaccines were provided by Walgreens. Community partner, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), provided snacks and handed out back to school giveaways to kids who attended with their families.
Genesee Health Plan (GHP) is Genesee County’s plan for better health which began with the vision to have a community where each person has equal and affordable opportunity to live a healthy life. GHP is a nonprofit health care organization that was launched in 2001 to provide health care coverage and life-saving services to the uninsured residents of Genesee County. The plan has provided more than 90,000 county residents with doctor’s visits, cancer screenings, prescription drugs, x-rays and many more life-saving services since 2001. Learn more about GHP at geneseehealthplan.org or call 844.232.7740.