Supporting COVID-19 Vaccination
Virginia's free and charitable clinics continue to serve on the front lines, doing everything possible to respond to the pandemic and meet the healthcare needs of uninsured patients across the state. Clinics have obtained PPE, implemented telemedicine and initiated other strategies to immediately and safely continue to provide care as well as expanded services to provide COVID-19 screening, testing, and treatment of patients. Now it also means clinics are endeavoring to support the vaccination effort.
Once widely available, the majority of Virginia's free clinics plan on providing vaccination services to their patients on-site while also serving as a trusted source of public health information on the COVID-19 vaccine. In some instances where vaccines are available, patients are already being vaccinated. This is the case at 11 free and charitable clinics across the state including CrossOver Healthcare Ministry in Richmond, Virginia, which began administering vaccines to eligible patients in January.
"This was a massive effort," reported Mike Murchie, Medical Director at CrossOver, "involving data analysis, changes to our electronic health records procedure, outreach, scheduling, workflow analysis, clinical protocols, patient education and vaccine administration." The clinic's hard work, creativity, and flexibility allowed them to hold their first vaccine clinic less than 48 hours after the first shipment of vaccines arrived (they have since held two more vaccination clinics and will continue to do so as long as the vaccine is available).