Adventist Church in North America Partners with Local Hospital to Offer Two COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
On December 12, 2021, the sun rose on a cool afternoon as a flood of personal vehicles pulled into the parking lot of the North American Division Headquarters. Once parked, people of all ages were greeted and directed inside to the second COVID-19 vaccination clinic held this fall at headquarters. The clinic, hosted by the NAD Public Affairs and Religious Freedom Department in partnership with Howard County General Hospital, used the Charles E. Bradford Conference Center on the building’s first floor. For some, it was a return for a second injection after receiving their first vaccination on November 21. For others, it was either a booster or a first vaccination.
“On behalf of the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Freedom, a big thank you to our NAD family for making the immunization clinics and giveaways a huge success,” said Melissa Reid, event organizer and associate director of the PARL.
“Community events like this are essential in helping us immunize as many people as possible, taking us one step closer to ending the pandemic,” said Ben Bigelow, director of the mobile team at COVID-19 vaccination, Johns Hopkins Health System. . “This event was a huge success, and we are grateful to NAD for allowing us to use their building.”
During the first clinic, a total of 255 community members were vaccinated (6 first or second dose for adults; 131 third dose / booster; and 118 pediatric doses). In the first half hour of the event, 75 people were served. We were also able to distribute a pallet of yams, Irish potatoes, squash, onions and bananas to 100 families in less than 90 minutes.
The number of people seen at the second clinic on December 12 increased to a total of 415 (17 adult first or second dose; 228 third dose / booster dose; and 170 pediatric doses). Bags of products were again distributed to 100 families.
As community members left the NAD, many expressed their thanks, satisfied with the smooth and organized vaccination process. One patient, who declined to share his name, said he was hospitalized in January 2021 with COVID-19 and is now receiving a boost. “It’s a beautiful building and a great location,” he shared. “I’m glad I found out that the clinic is taking place here. It means a lot that a religious organization opens its doors to the community.
Felicia Ward, another local resident, agreed, saying, “I live here in Colombia, so I came here because it was convenient for us. And it was easy for us to get an appointment. Ward, who came with another family member, added: “I think it’s important for us to get the vaccine to help slow this down and really get back to what life is like normally.”
Mandy Leblanc, from Highland, brought her two children, aged seven and nine, for their immunizations. “I think the clinic was great. It was quick; it was easy; it was good. The kids were a little scared, but it’s important to help them stay safe and healthy and do the things they love.
Leblanc plans to continue next month with the second shot. “I think it’s great to be able to partner with the community and help build that relationship. See you soon guys [for] the next one, ”she finished.
In addition to Howard County Hospital employees and volunteers, NAD staff also participated, including helping with the setup and welcoming visitors.
“Special thanks to our amazing NAD administration, our facilities services team, our on-call staff, our security team, our volunteer hostesses and members of the local church who facilitated the distribution of the products,” said Reid. . “We were even helped by [sic] some of our friendly staff kids! We are especially grateful to our ministerial partners, especially Adventist community services, publishing and stewardship ministries, for providing disposable bags, sharing literature, and children’s activity pages.
This is not the first time that NAD has organized a health clinic at its headquarters. The division opened its doors to welcome health and well-being screenings and provided a place where people could get their flu shots. And with the help of volunteers, they also distributed food to people in the area at least twice.
“The volunteers responded positively; it really turned into friendship evangelism, ”Reid explained of one of the previous produce gift events. “God has shown us that he doesn’t always act the same. He just wants us to be consistent when it comes to our willingness to meet the needs of others.
“Thank you again for your partnership in ministry and for helping us reflect Christ’s message of hope and fullness to our neighbors in Howard County,” added Reid, of health partners and volunteers, as ‘she looks forward to the next vaccination clinic on January 9, 2022..
“We are delighted to be returning for a third clinic at NAD,” Bigelow said. “We have also partnered with individual Adventist churches in the area, and we know the partnerships we are building now will serve us after the pandemic as we continue to promote healthy practices in the community. “