State and local officials will mark the start of a community vaccination clinic in North Baton Rouge on Friday that will serve as a model of community collaboration to ensure vaccines reach underserved areas.
The North Baton Rouge Vaccine Clinic located at the Living Faith Christian Center began Friday at 10 a.m. and will continue through 7 p.m., with the same hours on Saturday. Healthcare workers will administer 2,200 vaccines to residents of the area, which has historically been underserved by healthcare resources and does not have provider coverage comparable to other areas of the city.
The clinic has been part of an intensive planning process led by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), public officials and community and faith-based leaders. The result is a model of community collaboration LDH hopes providers, local officials and community leaders will continue in communities across Louisiana to ensure access to vaccines is equitable, and to make sure anyone who is eligible for a vaccine can get one.
In addition to LDH, community partners involved in the clinic include the Office of the Baton Rouge Mayor-President, the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, Living Faith Christian Center, the Governor’s Health Equity Task Force, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, the Louisiana National Guard, Albertsons and Ochsner Baton Rouge.
“Vaccines are our best hope in putting this pandemic behind us. However, without focused attention, many of our communities are at risk of being left out of the vaccine rollout,” said Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. “There is no one more in touch with the people than the partners who helped us on this clinic. Together, we are breaking down barriers so we can meet people where they are.”
“My administration is proud to work with our partners to host vaccination clinics in East Baton Rouge Parish,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “Increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines is critical for our effort to reduce and eliminate the presence of the coronavirus in our community. Equitable distribution to every part of our community ensures that all of our residents have the opportunity to protect themselves, their families, and our community.”
“We are honored to be a partner for this event and to play a vital role in ensuring the seniors of North Baton Rouge are equipped to fight against this horrible virus,” said Tasha Clark Amar, the CEO of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging.
“This clinic is an example of committing ourselves to the cause of not just getting vaccinated ourselves, but ensuring everyone in the community has access to the vaccine,” said Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Ted James. “As we work to end this pandemic, we will need to ask ourselves: What can I do to make sure my uncle, my cousin, my neighbor — the people in my community — knows this vaccine is safe and effective, and can get it without barriers when it’s their turn.”
“There are several individuals in minority communities who are eager to receive the vaccine to protect themselves from this deadly virus,” said state Senator Regina Barrow. “They are presented with general barriers such as transportation and technology challenges relative to online registration. This vaccine clinic presents a great opportunity to address these challenges and other economic and racial disparities that exist in the North Baton Rouge Community. This collaborative agency effort definitely provides convenience to access and further meets the goal of improving health outcomes.”
“I’m excited about the collaboration of leaders to bring this event into a community where the people are in need of these vaccines,” said state Representative C. Denise Marcelle. “We are here to encourage our constituents to get vaccinated and to continue to mask up and be safe. Far too many of our residents have fallen to COVID-19, so we’re doing our part to stop the spread.”
“Equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine is paramount in communities of color,” said Dr. Sandra C. Brown, Co-Chair of Louisiana’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. “Partnering with local black churches in North Baton Rouge is one way to ensure that the vaccine is being brought directly into those communities and given to vulnerable populations who are disproportionately impacted due to health disparities.”
“Albertsons is honored to be able to partner with the Louisiana Department of Health, the Council on Aging, Living Faith Christian Center, Ochsner and Baton Rouge Parish in providing COVID vaccines for the seniors in our community,” said Julie Spier, the Director of Pharmacy Operations for Albertsons. “We know that the efforts of our pharmacists are giving hope to our patients and neighbors and will make a difference as we move through the pandemic. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it is your turn. Together we can all make a difference.”
“Ochsner Baton Rouge is excited to work with LDH and other community partners in providing the COVID vaccine,” said Aldo Russo, M.D., Regional Medical Director, Ochsner Baton Rouge “It’s this kind of grass-roots outreach that will help us to administer the vaccine to everyone throughout our region.”
Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor-President Broome and LDH Secretary Phillips will deliver brief remarks at Living Faith Christian Center, 6375 Winbourne Ave., at 3 p.m. Community partners and elected officials will also be on hand for interviews.
After the remarks, Secretary Phillips will receive her first COVID vaccine alongside three newly eligible educators. Media are welcome on site starting at 10 a.m. as the clinic is in operation. Media are asked to set up for the public remarks portion of the day by 2:30 p.m.
Educators receiving vaccines alongside Dr. Phillips are:
- Poctia Douglas, Prescott Early Headstart
- Jennifer Turner, Wyandotte Early Headstart
- Dianna Payton, CEO of YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge
WHEN: February 26, 2021
WHERE: Living Faith Christian Center, 6375 Winbourne Ave.
Media availability schedule
10 a.m.: Public vaccinations begin (appointments are full). Media may photograph/video site and interview LDH staff.
(Media should be set on site for remarks by 2:30 p.m.)
3 p.m.: Remarks by LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, Governor John Bel Edwards and Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome
3:15 p.m.: Secretary Phillips and newly eligible educators will receive vaccinations
Contact: LDH spokesman Kevin Litten, 225-436-2207 or Kevin.Litten@la.gov