Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf visited Family First Health in York today to thank staff and to tour the federally qualified health center’s vaccination area, learning first-hand how the facility is vaccinating Pennsylvanians amid equity issues.
“Pennsylvania’s federally qualified health centers are crucial community partners focused on community-based care that serves some of the most vulnerable communities in the commonwealth,” Gov. Wolf said. “The community connections that federally qualified health centers such as Family First Health build and the equity-based care they provide make them an important part of our efforts to administer an efficient, ethical, and equitable vaccine rollout.”
To date, Pennsylvania has administered more than three million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and is working through the priority population in Phase 1A as quickly as possible. More than one million Pennsylvanians are now fully vaccinated.
Federally qualified health centers, including Family First Health, have played a big part in ensuring that vaccines get to the vulnerable populations who need them through direct outreach to patients.
Family First Health will be offering all-day Friday vaccination clinics beginning tomorrow. Center President and CEO Jenny Englerth described how Family First Health has made it a goal to vaccinate more patients each month.
“The Family First Health response to the pandemic has been consistent with our approach to delivering care to vulnerable populations for over 50 years: leverage our clinical expertise and trusted relationships with patients to improve lives,” Family First Health President and CEO Jenny Englerth said. “With a current focus of delivering vaccines, we are guided by our patients, which is allowing us to design approaches that will build confidence and reduce hesitancy.”
The center has vaccinated approximately 1,000 people since receipt of its first doses in late December 2020. With the new Friday clinics, the goal is to vaccinate at least 3,000 people between now and the end of April.
Family First Health’s evolution in providing vaccines in not unlike that of the commonwealth, Wolf said.
“As we learn more, we change our processes to better serve Pennsylvanians and as we receive more vaccine, we have the resources to expand the rollout and give Pennsylvanians new vaccination opportunities.
“I am grateful to all of our vaccine providers for their dedication to protecting their communities.”
Read more about the state’s vaccination plan here.