Kaiser Launches Initiative to Promote Vaccine Equity
Kaiser Permanente has announced the Safety Net Vaccine Equity Initiative, which provides funding to health care safety net organizations working to increase COVID-19 vaccinations for communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Five Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in Hawai´i will receive a total of $400,000 to use over six months to help patients access COVID-19 vaccines.
The FQHCs were selected in coordination with Hawai´i Primary Care Association and include Bay Clinic on Hawai´i Island; Malama I Ke Ola on Maui; and Kalihi-Palama Health Center, Wahiawa Center for Community Health and Waimanalo Health Center on O´ahu.
Along with connecting patients served by FQHCs to vaccinations, grant funds will support health centers and their staff with efforts that include:
- Funding safe transportation to vaccination sites.
- Ensuring adequate staffing to allow clinics managing vaccinations to maintain focus on primary care and testing operations.
- Supporting mobile vaccination operations to bring vaccines directly to communities.
- Outreach efforts from community health workers to help patients navigate vaccination guidelines, appointment sign-ups, and locations.
- Language services including translation and interpretation support for vaccination sites and supportive activities.
- Infrastructure support including personal protective equipment, storage, and supplies.
“COVID-19 represents the most immediate threat to the health of our communities, and it’s our duty to vaccinate those who have the highest risk of poor outcomes,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director of Hawai´i Permanente Medical Group. “These grants are an extension of our ongoing work at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii to outreach to underserved communities that may not have the same access to vaccination. We’re grateful to partner with organizations that share this important mission.”
In addition to established vaccination sites across the state, Kaiser Permanente is also outreaching to underserved communities and delivering vaccines. They have held 20 vaccination events in partnership with community centers, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island non-profits and the Hawaii Housing Authority. These efforts align with Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of the community and aim to lessen the significant barriers underserved populations face in seeking health care services like vaccines.
Eligible Kaiser Permanente members can schedule their vaccination appointment online at kp.org. Those not already registered on kp.org are encouraged to register today by visiting kp.org/register. Non-members may also sign up for a vaccination appointment online by going to kp.org/covidvaccine. Kaiser Permanente members who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call the public vaccine hotline at 1-855-550-0951 (TTY 711).