EASTON — In the past several months few weeks, more than 1,000 individuals have received COVID-19 vaccines through the Mobile Vaccination Program conducted by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health in collaboration with community partners in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.
The UM SRH Mobile Vaccination Clinics have been conducted at Amick Farms, LLC, in Hurlock, DART Container Corporation in Federalsburg, REEB Millwork in Barclay and Shrewsbury Catholic Church in Kennedyville. Mobile clinic visits to administer second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are now in progress at these locations. Vaccines at these locations are administered by UM SRH transitional nurse navigators, registered nurses and pharmacy team members, and also by nurse and physician volunteers from the community.
“Providing an easily accessible COVID vaccine outlet for our team members has been one of our primary goals during the pandemic,” said Brittni Miller, Communications Manager, Amick Farms, LLC. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health to provide an on-site vaccine clinic. UM Shore Regional Health has been an amazing group to work with. Their dedication to the health of our communities is evident – they saw the need and made the vaccine clinic happen for our team members.”
The UM Shore Regional Health initiative mirrors a comprehensive mobile vaccine project undertaken by University of Maryland Medical System, which has been awarded a state grant of nearly $3 million to expand its work on COVID-19 mobile vaccination outreach for vulnerable populations across the System’s footprint. The grant funds will be used to continue deploying vaccination teams to communities served by the System’s acute-care hospitals. So far, the UMMS mobile vaccination teams have provided nearly 8,000 vaccinations at almost 80 clinics, including businesses, churches, schools and senior housing communities.
“Vaccines are the path out of the pandemic, and for the most vulnerable, underserved and hard to reach individuals who can’t come to us, we are going to them,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of UMMS.
The $2,954,595 COVID-19 Community Vaccination Funding Program grant awarded to UMMS from Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission will allow the System to expand its program by approximately 53,000 additional vaccinations targeting 34 ZIP codes across Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Prince Georges and Queen Anne’s counties. The ZIP codes were identified by working with data from Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force, the state’s CRISP health information exchange and community health partners such as local health departments, community non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations.
Michael Fisher, MD, and his wife Karen Fisher, a nurse practitioner, have served as volunteer vaccinators for the Shore Regional Health Mobile Vaccination Program. “Given our rural region, the mobile clinics are truly a gift to people whose work schedules, limited transportation options or cultural barriers often present real obstacles to getting this important vaccine,” said Dr. Fisher. “There’s no doubt that the convenience of getting the vaccine in the workplace – meeting people where they are — is helping prevent hundreds of our fellow citizens from contracting COVID-19 and suffering lost work time, severe illness or hospitalization.”