BERKELEY, CA, February 22 – Josh Fryday, California’s Chief Service Officer and a member of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Cabinet, visited LifeLong Medical Care’s West Berkeley Family Practice outdoor vaccination site to see LifeLong Medical Care’s AmeriCorps Members in action. AmeriCorps Members are observing patients for the required 15-minutes after vaccination.
“All Californians are critical in the fight against COVID-19, and these AmeriCorps members have stepped up to serve their community to help slow the spread and save lives,” said Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “California Volunteers was built to recruit and deploy service members and volunteers to solve our state’s most pressing issues, and supporting vaccination efforts is an essential piece of the work ahead.”
LifeLong Medical Care serves vulnerable populations in the East and North Bay, and was one of the first Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQHC) in the Bay Area to begin a vaccination program.
“According to LifeLong Medical Care’s Deputy Chief of Clinical Operations, Kate Lewis, “Barring delays in vaccine shipments due to the severe winter weather plaguing most of the U.S., LifeLong is now able to administer 2,000 vaccines per week at no cost to its members at its five vaccine sites.”
To date, LifeLong has vaccinated 3,090 patients since its first vaccination clinic on January 30. Beginning March 1st, LifeLong will be allocated additional vaccine doses directly from the Federal Government as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to ensure that the nation’s hardest hit populations are receiving the vaccine. Ninety-eight percent of LifeLong Medical Care’s population lives at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, equivalent to an annual income of $51,500 or less for a family of four.
AmeriCorps Members are serving at all sites. The other four are: LifeLong Brookside San Pablo Health Center, LifeLong William Jenkins Health Center (Richmond), LifeLong Trust Health Center (Downtown Oakland), and LifeLong East Oakland Health Center.
Lewis began her career in public health as an AmeriCorps Member with LifeLong. “One of the most amazing experiences of being an AmeriCorps Member is that you get to be on the front line of extremely important movements in the medical field. My term of service in 2005 shaped my career and helped me to see where the needs really lie in our communities. I am grateful to have the help of our AmeriCorps Members this year to help with our COVID vaccination efforts!”
LifeLong’s AmeriCorps program fosters healthy communities by improving access to primary and preventative care services for medically underserved communities while developing tomorrow’s health care workforce.