Freehold Township, NJ – CentraState HealthCare System has initiated a number of targeted, grassroots vaccine outreach and education efforts to ensure local communities and a number of specialized populations have both accurate information and access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
“As a community hospital, we are tasked with an important role in meeting the health needs of our community. This has become especially critical as we work to provide information about and administer vaccinations to fight COVID-19. Waiting for people to come to us for a vaccine simply is not enough - we must meet some neighbors exactly where they are in our local communities,” said John T. Gribbin, president and CEO of CentraState HealthCare System.
To date, the 284-bed community hospital has successfully provided over 42,000 vaccine doses to New Jersey residents.
Recognizing the importance of getting children back to school as soon as possible, CentraState was one of the first organizations to focus on administering vaccines to educators and school staff in the state. Outreach teams worked with local school districts and superintendents to identify teachers and staff who were eligible under New Jersey Department of Health criteria to receive the vaccines. Through focused scheduling, CentraState has been able to administer vaccines to more than 6,000 teachers and school staff, including nearly 600 high-risk staff members from Freehold Township, Freehold Borough and Freehold Regional School District.
“We are thrilled that CentraState has made our members a priority in vaccination distribution,” said Denise King, president of Monmouth County Education Association.
Working to address vaccine disparity while continuing to educate people on the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, CentraState initiated a targeted vaccine campaign, focusing specifically on individuals in hard-to-reach or underserved populations, migrant workers, individuals 75 years or older, those lacking access to technology and/or with mobility issues who are physically unable to come to the hospital. Under the guidance of Nadia Batchelor, who chairs the CentraState Board of Trustees Diversity and Inclusion Committee, CentraState staff worked diligently with community partners to identify the most appropriate locations for vaccine clinics throughout the greater Freehold-area, including houses of worship, senior centers and housing complexes. Through this initiative, nearly 5,000 individuals from these population groups have been vaccinated throughout local communities in Monmouth County.
As part of this effort, CentraState also produced and promoted a Public Service Announcement video series geared toward People of Color and Hispanic/Latino populations addressing fears and concerns about the vaccine. Available on YouTube, the videos feature community leaders and CentraState experts who each provide fact-based information on COVID-19 vaccines.
Added Gribbin, “The tireless efforts of our staff members involved in this comprehensive vaccination effort truly speak to CentraState’s mission of enhancing the health and well-being of our community. We will continue these efforts as long as necessary to get the community back on its feet.”