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District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor

06/10/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2021 10:55

At Ribbon-Cutting for Mary’s Center’s Vaccine Pod, Mayor Bowser Announces New Vaccine Outreach Workforce and Encourages Community Members to Join the Day of Action on June 19

(Washington, DC) - Today, Mayor Bowser joined Mary's Center and UnitedHealthcare to celebrate and cut the ribbon on their new mobile vaccination pod which is located at the Mary's Center Fort Totten Clinic in Ward 5. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Mayor announced the launch of a new vaccine outreach workforce and encouraged community members to register for the third DC COVID-19 Community Corps Day of Action.

'Going forward, we need an all hands on deck approach to ensure every eligible person in our community claims their free COVID-19 vaccine. That is why we're launching an outreach workforce, why we're calling our residents to join the Day of Action, and why we are excited to see the continued enthusiasm of trusted partners like Mary's Center and UnitedHealthcare,' said Mayor Bowser. 'We have a safe and very effective vaccine available that can prevent people from dying of COVID-19. The vaccine is free. It is easy to get. But this work to reach more people is urgent - we still have people dying of COVID-19, most of the people dying in DC are Black, and it doesn't have to be this way. The vaccine is available and we need people to take it.'

The vaccination pod has four units and can be used to vaccinate up to 400 individuals per day. In addition to supporting vaccination efforts, the pod will also free up resources within Mary's Center to ensure that patients can continue to access regular healthcare.

'Mary's Center is proud to support the efforts of Mayor Bowser and DC Health to get all residents of Washington, DC vaccinated,' said Dr. Tollie Elliott, Chief Medical Officer at Mary's Center. 'With this new state-of-the-art vaccination pod funded by UnitedHealthcare, we will be able to reach more of the communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including our Black and Brown neighbors in the nation's capital.'

'UnitedHealthcare's partnership with Mary's Center is a great example of how public-private partnerships can be leveraged to meet needs within a community,' said Erin Henderson-Moore, Executive Director, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington, DC. 'We are proud to support the new mobile vaccination unit that will deliver care directly to communities where it is needed most.'

Beginning Monday, June 14, the District's vaccination efforts will be bolstered by a new paid outreach team. The District is partnering with seven community-based organizations that have previously supported DC's COVID-19 response and were the recipients of DC HOPE grants:

  • Anacostia Coordinating Council
  • Check It Enterprises
  • Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation
  • Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative
  • Latin American Youth Center
  • Marshall Heights Community Development Organization
  • National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens

Collectively, these organizations will hire and deploy a team of approximately 150 people who will be dedicated to engaging unvaccinated residents and helping them make a plan to get vaccinated. In addition to knocking on doors and engaging residents in high-traffic areas, these teams will also work with faith leaders, barbershops, beauty salons, and youth organizations to hear residents' concerns, share accurate and reliable vaccine information, and follow up with residents after making plans to get vaccinated.

Members of the community can support all of these efforts by joining the DC COVID-19 Community Corps Day of Action on Juneteenth (Saturday, June 19). Canvassing shifts will launch at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The goal of each Day of Action is to engage with neighbors who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and help them make a plan to get vaccinated. Those who want to participate can learn more or register for the Day of Action at bit.ly/dayofactiondc.