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Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff Visits White Bird Clinic’s Vaccine Site

Emhoff Highlights White Bird’s Vaccination Equity Efforts

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EUGENE, OREGON – Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Governor Kate Brown, and Representative Peter DeFazio visited White Bird’s vaccination clinic to learn about the agency’s work advancing COVID-19 vaccination equity by forming innovative partnerships with community-based organizations.

With strong support from the Biden-Harris administration’s Health Center Vaccine Program and funding from the American Rescue Act, federally qualified health centers such as White Bird Clinic are on the front lines of promoting vaccine equity. Oregon’s 34 FQHC’s care for almost half a million patients and serve as the cornerstone of the regional healthcare system, providing care for underserved communities, including communities of color. White Bird has vaccinated more than 2,500 people, approximately 40% of whom identify as non-white, in a state that is 75% white. In partnership with organizations serving communities of color, White Bird will operate mobile vaccination clinics that meet people where they are at, in order to reduce disparities in health and healthcare.

The community organizations will develop culturally appropriate messaging and implement outreach strategies that best reach their constituents, then sponsor easily accessible vaccination clinics. White Bird will bring its mobile medical unit to each site and provide vaccine and the clinical staff that will administer it and then monitor recipients post-inoculation.

The federal Health Center Vaccine Program provides White Bird with a direct supply of all three vaccines and the American Rescue Act’s allocation of $7.6B to Health Centers includes funding for vaccination initiatives such as White Bird’s. “The Biden-Harris administration’s philosophical and financial support for vaccination equity is the wind behind our sails in our effort to ensure that no one misses the opportunity to be vaccinated,” said Chris Hecht, Executive Coordinator.

Nationally, the vaccination rate of BIPOC individuals is roughly half that of whites. The Biden-Harris administration’s priority to reduce disparities in the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines will mitigate the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of color and reduce health and healthcare disparities. Achieving high vaccination rates across individuals and communities is essential to achieving broader population immunity.

The entire community is working together to make this project a success. Nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other medically-trained community members volunteer to administer vaccines. Project partners including Centro Latino Americano, Downtown Languages, St. Mark CME church, Huerto de la Familia, and 8:46 Justice Today are mobilizing their constituents and promoting vaccination. The Community Center for the Performing Arts/WOW Hall provides their music venue as a facility. Support for the project is provided by PeaceHealth, Pacific Source, and the Lane Community Health Council.

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