UofL Health administered more than 2,500 vaccines in its largest single-day community vaccine event, so far. The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH) provided an ideal location, to decrease barriers and increase access within a federally designated Medically Underserved Area.
“Our churches and our health care providers have been on the frontlines throughout our war against COVID-19, and they are now invaluable partners as we vaccinate more and more Kentuckians every day,” said Gov. Beshear. “After a difficult year where we have lost more than 5,900 Kentuckians, it is thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of our health care heroes and volunteers that we are meeting the greatest challenge of our generation and will defeat COVID-19 this year.”
Following the delivery of Kentucky’s first doses of vaccine, at UofL Hospital, UofL Health started expanding its reach from fixed drive-thru sites into area neighborhoods, particularly through partnerships with area churches. The collective effort has resulted in more than 65,000 vaccines administered.
“Transportation, communication and online registration can be barriers. That’s where the churches have been such valuable partners,” said Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health. “The access barriers are a focus for our team, as UofL Health takes care of more people from west Louisville than both other hospital systems, combined. By connecting with the churches, we know this vaccine is reaching the Medically Underserved Areas.”
More than 50 churches were involved in the KCAAH event. “This is a real shot of hope and it is significant the vaccine is provided so close to home,” said Pastor David Snardon, president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition. “I applaud the leadership of Governor Beshear and the focus by UofL Health to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID vaccine.”
The KCAAH vaccine event is the latest among several initiatives by UofL Health to improve the health equity. Specifically, in west Louisville:
- Earlier this week, UofL Health announced a new Urgent Care Plus location for Virginia Avenue, in the Parkland neighborhood, opening this summer.
- The Brown Cancer Center’s mobile cancer screening van brings early detection for cervical, colon, lung and breast cancers into underserved neighborhoods.
- Smart technology allows UofL Physicians to remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions and make care recommendations between appointments.
“UofL Health is committed to balancing equity in health, employment and education,” said Dr. Edward Miller, chair of UofL Health’s diversity, equity and inclusion council. “We’ve got nearly 700 of our own UofL Health employees that live in west Louisville. We want to grow that number, keep improving access and invest in new generation of health care workers to build a stronger and healthier community.”
A second large-scale event for west Louisville is in the works for May. UofL Health is also finalizing logistics to open the state’s largest drive-thru vaccine clinic at UofL Cardinal Stadium in April.