KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – Truman Medical Centers/University Health took its show on the road Wednesday.
The hospital system’s community health unit targeted businesses along Troost Avenue to help spread awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A team of 10 makes up the Community Health Strategy and Innovations group at Truman, who visited businesses along Troost Avenue near East 55th Street, armed with information and hope. They passed out brochures with vaccine facts and myths and helped people who did not know where or how to get the vaccine.
“It’s just so great. I am so glad they are here today,” said Derrick Bachman who’s renovating a bar at East 54th and Troost.
Bachman offered his large parking lot for a community vaccination event, and although he doesn’t have a staff yet, the team from Truman took the opportunity to talk to the construction crew that wasn’t vaccinated. One man said he’s going to wait to see what happens and knows that puts others at risk.
“This is exactly what we were looking for,” said Hayat Abdullahi, senior director of community health strategy and innovations.
Up the street at Nieces Restaurant, owner Denise Ward said a few people on her staff are scared about the safety of the vaccines because officials paused Johnson & Johnson vaccine over clotting concerns. Finding out Truman is giving the Pfizer vaccine may be a game-changer for her employees.
“I think that would help a lot,” Ward said.
Justin Clark, who owns Urban Cafe, used to be a catering chef at Truman and got a jump on the effort with his concerned staff.
“They had a ton of questions, but I referred them to Truman, and they smoothed it out for me,” he said. Now all of his employees are vaccinated.
The effort is personal for this Truman team. Each one of them has family members who were extremely sick or died from COVID-19. Abdullahi lost several family members to the virus.
“Healthcare workers are no different, you know? We lost people to COVID,” she said. “We wake up and go to sleep thinking about COVID. How we can battle that horrific disease?”
With both Missouri and Kansas sitting at just under 40% of the population who have gotten at least one shot, branching out is the new frontier in the fight against COVID-19. Officials know they’ll have to get out of the hospital to educate people about the vaccine and bring it to those who want it.