Generating ease of community access to health care is a constant focus for us here at NWBRV. The importance of community-based vaccine sites has been an unparalleled necessity for our Woonsocket community. In partnership with Woonsocket’s Health Equity Zone (HEZ) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), we’ve been working tirelessly to achieve equal local access to the COVID-19 vaccination. With 31 vaccine clinics occurring at our Millrace Kitchen location since June 2021, we can confidently say we are doing our best as a non-profit to promote the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since June, we’re proud to say that the 31 clinics we’ve hosted at Millrace have resulted in the administration of 1,001 vaccines in arms,” NWBRV’s Director of Resource Development and Communications Meg Rego said. “Of those vaccinated, 43% identify as being a part of the BIPOC community. Additionally, we’ve vaccinated 165 school aged children and 100 senior citizens.”
HEZ’s investment, both resource-based and financial, in these clinics has been invaluable in promoting our shared goal in ensuring every individual has an equal opportunity to be healthier. This requires removing obstacles to health, such as poverty, discrimination, racism and their subsequent consequences.
“It is important to remove as many barriers as possible when it comes to getting vaccinated,” said Tamara Burman from the Woonsocket Health Equity Zone. “That’s why the HEZ collaborative continues to support community clinics. Our HEZ partners continue to do a wonderful job by helping to remove barriers, improve access and serve our community through these community clinics.”
We’d like to extend our gratitude to the individuals working with the RIDOH COVID-19 response funding team, as the vaccination clinics hosted by Millrace have been made possible due to their financial investment. The competent and passionate team at RIDOH has helped create safe site spaces for our Woonsocket residents to help us in our fight to minimize COVID-19 in our community.
“I have found that our community-based vaccination sites are vital, not only to the communities they’re in, but also to Rhode Island as a whole,” said Miosotis Ramierz, a Clinical Operations Manager for the Rhode Island Department of Health COVID-19 Unit; which supports the establishment of community-based vaccination sites.
“All of our sites have played a crucial role in ensuring that everyone has access to a COVID-19 vaccine in a safe space, where they feel comfortable, can ask questions and receive personalized education about the COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccination site at Millrace Kitchen has been vital to ensuring that the Woonsocket community has had a consistent location for local families to get vaccinated, protecting themselves, their households and their community from COVID-19.”Mio Ramierz, RIDOH
Our clinics have provided the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to those ages 5 and up. The vaccines are free, no registration has been required and those who have attended have been gifted a free at-home COVID-19 testing kit and complimentary holiday food box courtesy of the Elisha Project. With our final clinic of the year having taken place on December 17, 2021, we encourage Woonsocket residents and those from surrounding communities to visit the COVID-19 Information Center for additional information about how they can get vaccinated for COVID-19 and where they can get tested.