Family health

Kalamazoo Family Health Center Receives Grant for COVID Vaccination Efforts

The investment will allow the KalamazooFamily Health Center (FHC) to better serve more than 51,000 patients with new equipment and improved health care delivery.

“Collaboration and commitment have driven our joint success in testing and vaccinating thousands of Kalamazoo residents,” said Denise Crawford, President and CEO of the Family Health Center. “Bronson Healthcare Group was a critical partner, working with FHC to protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19. We also partnered with other organizations including Kalamazoo Public Schools, Mothers of Hope and over 40 others to reach more people with essential information, tests and vaccines. »

Mothers of Hope is a non-profit organization Kalamazoo which aims to empower women, families and communities to overcome the effects of substance use disorders, poverty, violence and systemic inequalities.

“The dedication of the incredible staff at FHC has made all the difference,” added Crawford. “From the start of the pandemic until today, they continue to bring great energy, strong determination and the highest level of care. Thanks to their commitment, we were able to administer more than 26,800 tests, vaccines and boosters, protecting thousands of people. people, including those most vulnerable to COVID-19. »

As the world continues to deal with outbreaks caused by variants of COVID-19, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is more important than ever. To encourage all Americans to get vaccinated, Centene announced the COVID-19 Immunization Initiative in June 2021 as part of a national campaign. Through this initiative, Meridian worked with local providers to conduct engagement campaigns that educated their patients about the importance of getting vaccinated. The added incentive helped motivate providers to engage their communities as much as possible and increase immunization rates.

“Medical equipment can be expensive, especially as providers grapple with the ongoing repercussions of the pandemic and its impact on their resources,” said Sean Kendal, President and CEO of Meridian of Michigan. “By combining immunization efforts with medical equipment grants, we are not only helping the family health center of Kalamazoo protect their communities and loved ones from COVID-19, we’re helping them invest in efficiencies and new equipment for their facilities to continue providing quality health care to every person who walks through their doors. »

The health center said community events have been an essential part of its testing and vaccination strategy since the start of the pandemic.

“We knew that several screening and vaccination sites were opening around Kalamazoo it required people to find a way to get to their location, and we knew that the FHC would play a major role in providing testing and vaccinations to those who had limited mobility, did not have transportation or did not only had a short window of time so they could fit it into their busy days,” said Alison Nuismer, Director of Marketing and Fund Development at the center. “We knew we had to reach out to people at the neighborhood level.”

Through a partnership with Bronson Health, the center said it was able to enter the community quickly after the vaccines were released.

FHC and Bronson Health held weekly neighborhood events to help vaccinate over 500 people at each event. As the events continued, they saw a need to create more access and education about vaccine awareness in Latino and Black communities. In response, they partnered with El Concilio, a non-profit organization that serves the Latin American community in the greater Kalamazoo region, to host a community conversation with Latinx community leaders encouraging community members to get vaccinated.

FHC has also partnered with Kalamazoo Public Schools and Mothers of Hope to hold vaccination events in places where people feel most comfortable. From familiar spaces like schools or apartment complexes to local barbecues and community events where they handed out groceries and necessities like laundry detergent, this team went above and beyond to think of creative way to how to reach as many people as possible.

About Meridian

Meridian in Michigan provides government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors, and people with complex medical needs, primarily through Medicaid (MeridianHealth), Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Wellcare), Medicare – Medicaid Plans (MeridianComplete) and Health Insurance Market Place (Ambetter from Meridian). Meridian is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading healthcare company committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information about Meridian, please visit mimeridian.com.

About FHC

The Family Health Center is a federally licensed 501(c)(3) nonprofit health center serving the citizens of Kalamazoo County. FHC provides quality healthcare to some 50,000 historically underserved patients, ensuring that everyone who enters our facilities is treated with dignity, respect and a welcoming spirit. FHC’s goal is to create a “medical home” for families, children and adults seeking answers to their health care needs.

SOURCE Meridian of Michigan