Senator Joe Manchin recently announced that Valley Health Systems was chosen along with Shenandoah Valley Medical System to receive direct shipments of COVID-19 vaccines through the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 Vaccination Program. COVID-19 vaccines provided to community health centers under this program are separate from the state’s weekly allocation, and will increase the overall vaccine supply in the state.
“The HRSA COVID-19 Vaccination Program is aimed at ensuring equitable vaccine distribution across the state and our health centers, who serve roughly 27 percent of West Virginians, are well equipped to do just that. Vaccines are essential to defeating this horrible virus and I am incredibly pleased that our health centers have been chosen to receive doses directly,” said Senator Manchin.
“Community Health Centers are a vital link for healthcare services for so many in West Virginia. We are honored to be chosen by HRSA to do our part to assist West Virginians in slowing the spread of this horrible pandemic,” said Steve Shattls, President and CEO of Valley Health Systems.
Valley Health Systems will work alongside the West Virginia Primary Care Association, local health departments and state officials to facilitate vaccinations throughout the region for many patients. “We operate over forty locations in our area, and our infrastructure is designed to be adaptable to manage any challenge. We have provided over 5,000 vaccinations in partnership with the state of West Virginia and several counties in our service area, and we are excited to expand this work through the HRSA Health Center program.,” said Dr. Mathew Weimer, VP of Health Services and Chief Medical Officer of Valley Health Systems.
The hub of vaccination efforts for the community health centers will be through their pharmacy and primary care locations. Geographic locations within Valley Health’s service area will be determined strategically to provide access to patients and communities who may otherwise have difficulty accessing vaccinations, including rural, vulnerable, and underserved populations. “Our footprint of locations provides people access to vaccinations in a most convenient manner. HRSA recognized that and we pledged our resources to help facilitate this effort,” said Ashley Houvouras, PharmD, Director of Pharmacies for Valley Health Systems.
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