CULVER CITY, Calif .– An organization led by three black doctors called The Shared Harvest Foundation has launched an emergency response to declining confidence in the medical system.
There was a queue on the street recently at a vaccination clinic in Culver City, and with the new omicron variant, a new push has been started to get people vaccinated and boosted.
What would you like to know
- The Shared Harvest Foundation launched an emergency response to declining confidence in the medical system
- As needs evolved, they have organized over 80 pop-up vaccination clinics across Los Angeles.
- Blackbird is a community for professional women of color who seek to create positive change for each other and the world.
- If you would like to get tested, vaccinated, or volunteer at one of the upcoming Shared Harvest pop-up clinics, visit covidmd.org
On her way home for the vacation, Miaya South, 20, stopped by the clinic after landing in Los Angeles.
“My mom was looking for booster shots because my school just got it for every college affiliate and undergraduate student,” South said.
South is grateful for the steps John Hopkins University has taken to keep students safe and says many of her friends are in pre-med, so she felt confident to take the vaccine early on. But she knows there is still skepticism within the black and brunette community, as well as among those in her age group.
Just behind South in line, Stan and Genise Brown hoped to lead by example.
“We have family members who are hesitant, and we keep hammering and hammering them trying to make them understand the importance, and just being an example, doing it ourselves,” Stan said. .
This is why the doctor who hosts this clinic had the idea to launch an initiative called myCovidMD while working on the front line of the pandemic in an emergency room.
Dr Nana Afoh-Manin says it was depressing to see the devastation among communities of color that did not have access to care.
“The most important thing is education,” said Afoh-manin, medical and innovation director for The Shared Harvest Foundation. “We need to get back into the community, reconnect and attach people to a trusted resource to get the right information, from people like them, who are like them and who care for their families.”
Afoh-Manin explained that they started out as pop-up testing centers targeting the uninsured to connect them with volunteer healthcare professionals on call 24/7 to answer all of their COVID questions. . As the needs evolved, they have organized over 80 pop-up vaccination clinics across Los Angeles.
Afoh-Manin noted that as the only black female doctor in her entire emergency department, this is the way to build trust.
“You have to be present, you have to be involved, you have to be engaged and you have to be open to listen,” Afoh-Manin said. “Just because I’m black doesn’t mean I understand the plight of every black person. But my presence, my sincerity, allows people to open up and ask the questions that need to be asked.”
For this clinic, Afoh-Manin partnered with Bridgid Coulter Cheadle, Founder of Blackbird, a community of professional women of color seeking to create positive change for each other and for the world. Cheadle says it’s exciting to see the long lines of people covering his space.
“We learn, it develops,” Cheadle said. “There is so much data now proving the safety of vaccines.”
Data South has never doubted and hopes others his age will also get on board.
“I don’t really think it’s taking a risk, but take the plunge and get the shot if you can,” South said.
If you would like to get tested, vaccinated, or volunteer at one of the upcoming Shared Harvest pop-up clinics, visit covidmd.org.