Closing Gaps in Access to COVID Vaccines – Santa Maria Times Article

April 12, 2021

CHC was featured in a Santa Maria Times article: Closing the gaps in vaccine access: Groups expand help, support vulnerable residents.

“One area that we are trying to literally bridge is the digital divide. We find that digital equity and health equity really stood shoulder to shoulder over the course of the last year,” said Magdalena Serrano, CHCCC Behavioral Health Director. “It’s not about pointing figures, it’s about elevating a problem to where we can address it.”

To spread the word, staff spend extra hours cold-calling current and former patients. In order to expand vaccine access to Latinx and Indigenous residents, who are less likely to receive timely information from the county about appointments, staff at Community Health Centers of the Central Coast’s Navigation Center in Santa Maria spend extra hours calling patients in their network, even those they haven’t seen in years, to provide vaccine information.

“Those calls are happening in the evenings, after hours, [and] in text outreach campaigns. Any time we have free, we are focusing on getting that info out,” said Victoria Wood, CHC’s Chief Experience Officer. “Not only are they calling their own patients, but they’re also calling people who haven’t been in in the last several years.”

Thanks to Laura Place of the Santa Maria Times for taking the time to report on this issue – read the full article.

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