Family Health Centers of Kalamazoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan has been busy these past few months running back-to-back COVID-19 vaccine clinics. As of last week, FHC had run 52 clinics in the greater Kalamazoo area, administering 8,112 vaccines to people in the community. The 340B Drug Discount Program allowed FHC to serve more patients and get more shots in the arms of those who would have otherwise been last in line. Community Voices for 340B reached out to Denise Crawford, CEO of FHC and asked her a few questions.
What has the reaction been to FHC doing these clinics?
“The responses in the community have been great! Since the beginning we have had a neighborhood-based approach to our clinics, reducing as many barriers as possible to get people vaccinated. Rotating through the neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19. In the past few weeks, we have noticed a shift in behaviors and our large-scale drive through clinics were not filling up at the same rate they had before, we quickly shifted with our community partners to smaller events happening more often directly in apartment complexes and at popular neighborhood destinations. As behaviors continue to modify, so will our events and outreach.”
How has 340B supported your ability to host these clinics?
“340B is instrumental in all of the outreach work we do, particularly in getting primary care access to those who otherwise would not be able to obtain it. Whereas the federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge for all members, there are so many additional aspects that are necessary to ensure a safe, quality, and efficient process from staffing to Band-Aids and 340B dollars allow this to happen. This was especially in the early stages and any federal dollars were allocated to the efforts.”
How does 340B support FHC as a whole?
“As a whole, it is 340B that makes FHC what it is today and contributes up to 50% of the net revenue to the organization. This additional revenue ensures it is possible for FHC to fund the extra activities geared toward the community.”