Six AZ-07 Health Care Centers to Receive Direct Vaccine Allocation for Underserved Communities
PHOENIX, AZ - Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) announced that Wesley Community Center, Valle Del Sol, and Circle the City in Arizona’s 7th District will be joining the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program over the next six weeks. Valleywise Health, Adelante Healthcare, Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH) and Mountain Park Health Center, all serving constituents in AZ-07, also recently secured inclusion in the program, which ensures that Community Health Centers can secure direct allocation of vaccine from the federal government without depending on allocations from the state or county.
The inclusion of these local Health Centers in the Vaccine Program occurred following Rep. Gallego’s advocacy efforts to ensure that underserved neighborhoods in Phoenix that rely on Community Health Centers had equal access to vaccine. Community Health Centers in the Phoenix area serve a high proportion of low-income patients and communities of color, patients experiencing homelessness or living in public housing, and those with limited English proficiency. Many of these patients have been left behind in Arizona’s vaccine rollout thus far despite being among the hardest hit communities by COVID-19.
Rep. Gallego made the following statement:
“Community Health Centers are a lifeline in low income, underserved, and underinsured communities – and throughout this pandemic they have often been the difference between my constituents being able to access care or not. These health centers will and must play central role in vaccine distribution if we are to successfully reach herd immunity in all of our communities.
“Each of the health centers included in this program have strong existing relationships and trust with the communities they serve, and they have worked to make sure that vaccines are accessible to their patients regardless of where they live, the language they speak, or their financial means.
“That is why I am grateful to the Biden Administration for heeding my call to include multiple Community Health Centers serving my District in a direct vaccine allocation program that will expand access to vaccines in Black, Latino, immigrant and underserved neighborhoods that I represent.”
Shawn Frick, CEO of the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, emphasized that, “The inclusion of more Federally Qualified Health Centers in Arizona in this program is very timely. Currently, 23 Arizona health centers, serving over 800,000 Arizonans at 180 sites throughout the state, are working to ensure special populations – such as the homeless, the poor, agricultural and migrant workers, residents of public housing and people living in rural areas – have access to all three COVID vaccines. We thank Congressman Gallego for his advocacy in ensuring that FQHCs have direct access to vaccines for their patients.”
To locate a HRSA-funded health center, visit: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.