St. Luke’s Expands Vaccine Access to Underserved Communities

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St. Luke’s and Greater Shiloh Church will host a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Easton this Saturday, March 27, as part of ongoing efforts to improve vaccine access in underserved local communities that have already been hit hard by the virus.

“This is an opportunity for us to make our community a healthier and safer place,” said Greater Shiloh Senior Pastor Phillip Davis. “Our commitment to our community and our partnership with St. Luke’s support our concern for the less fortune–to ensure that they get necessary vaccines for a healthier life.”

Davis Vaccine Access Shiloh Church

Credit: Greater Shiloh Church

Pictured: Senior Pastor Phillip Davis and Co-Pastor Kristina Davis of Greater Shiloh Church in Easton, Pa. The church is hosting a vaccine clinic with St. Luke’s University Health Network this Saturday.

Appointments for vaccinations at Greater Shiloh Church were scheduled in advance. The event, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., is part of St. Luke’s multipronged vaccine outreach strategy.

For example, the Network, has hosted a series of free vaccine clinics at the Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley in South Bethlehem, including one on Friday, March 26, in collaboration with the Bethlehem NAACP. Recipients were mostly nearby neighbors, and in particular people of color who are an under-vaccinated group nationally. Student nurses from St. Luke’s, many of them bilingual, gave the shots during a five-hour period.

Also this month, St. Luke’s translated its Shot-Line into Spanish, facilitating and expediting outreach to Spanish speakers who have yet to register for a COVID vaccine appointment. This unique outbound-dialing system, developed by and exclusively for St. Luke’s, enables those whose preferred language is Spanish to self-schedule their appointments over the phone in less than three minutes. One of the key benefits is that it expands vaccination registration to those who do not have Internet access.

Here’s how it works: St. Luke’s patients over age 65 who have previously indicated Spanish as their preferred language may receive a call on the phone number listed on their St. Luke’s patient records. During the call from 1-866-785-8537, an automated voice recording will ask if the patient would like to receive the vaccine. This outbound dialing system eliminates the need for people to call and wait on hold to schedule a vaccine.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for all of our patients who are eligible for the vaccine to get it,” said Shishir Singh, Director of Development, Information Technology. “With Shot-Line, we are able to dial up to 25 people per minute. … It’s a much better user experience–no waiting on hold, no waiting for a call back. Our only limitation continues to be vaccine availability.”

Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.

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