Brooklyn Park Clinic Does Outreach to Diverse Groups to Reduce Vaccination Disparities
The Minnesota Department of Health has begun releasing vaccination data based on race and ethnicity. It’s part of the MN EHR (Electronic Health Records) Consortium, where health care providers report vaccine information to the state. The goal is to identify underserved populations.
The Hennepin Healthcare-Brooklyn Park clinic serves a diverse population. The medical staff is doing several things to ensure everyone who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine can get one.
Six weeks ago, the clinic transitioned from giving COVID-19 tests to administering vaccines. Tuesday, 66-year-old Clementine Wollo rolled up her sleeve. She says it only took her a week after she called to get the vaccine.
“I’m vulnerable, and I’m 66 years old, and I have diabetes,” said Wollo.
Health Care Providers Work to Reduce COVID-19 Vaccination Disparities
According to state data, nearly 91 percent of Minnesotans who have received the vaccine are white. Census data show whites make up 82 percent of the state’s population. However, the latest data also show that 3.5 percent of those who are vaccinated are Blacks, 3 percent are Asian and 1.7 percent are Hispanic.
During the height of the pandemic, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, the most diverse communities in the northwest suburbs, had the highest COVID-19 rates in Hennepin County.
Nurses and staff at Hennepin Healthcare-Brooklyn Park are going through medical records and making calls to let them know the vaccine is available. They are also teaming up with community groups to help spread awareness.
“We worked with a lot of religious leaders. So, we’re hoping between the partnerships across all of us that we’ll be able to hit home with how every important this vaccine is,” explained clinic manager Brenda Kennelly.
Some doctors are going out in the community on their own time to share resources. They say educating the public is the biggest thing they can do right now.