Jefferson University Hospitals

Jefferson Provides 5,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations to Community Members at the Hansjörg Wyss Wellness Center

01/20/22

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – This week, Jefferson Health at the Hansjörg Wyss Wellness Center achieved a significant milestone in its quest to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to residents within Philadelphia’s diverse communities. On Tuesday, January 19, Jefferson’s team of clinicians, students, and outreach workers, administered its 5000th vaccination to community members at the South Philadelphia center.

The Hansjörg Wyss Wellness Center, which opened last April in the Bok Building, is a hub for clinical and educational outreach activities with a focus on serving immigrant and refugee communities. The center – which was established by a $3.1 million gift from the Wyss Foundation and other benefactors – delivers full-spectrum primary care, social services, wellness activities, and other community focused programming such as elder health, adult literacy, domestic violence assistance, and employment aid. There are also spaces for the community to gather for social purposes.

Since May 2021, the Jefferson Mobile Vaccination team, funded by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and currently run by leadership within the Jefferson Center for Connected Care, has offered the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals presenting to the Wyss Center, among numerous other locations including parks, churches and schools across the Philadelphia community.

All individuals 5 years and older who are eligible and interested in getting a first dose, second dose or booster with the Pfizer vaccine are welcome at any of these clinics. No insurance or identification is required, walk-ins are welcome, and interpretation services are available. Current hours of operation at the Wyss Center are Sundays 12-6 p.m., and Mondays and Tuesdays 12-8 p.m.

“Jefferson is proud to partner with the City and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to ensure that our most vulnerable populations across the city are able to access and receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We have designed the process to eliminate unnecessary barriers to care and are thrilled to have reached this milestone at Wyss,” says Dr. Kristin Rising, an emergency physician and Director of the Jefferson Center for Connected Care. “It is a true honor to be able to bring this service directly to our Philadelphia communities.”   

Jefferson is one of the largest providers in Philadelphia for refugee health care and is one of only four programs in the nation recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Center of Excellence in Refugee Healthcare.

The Wyss Center is a program of Jefferson’s Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity, and a partnership between Jefferson’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and SEAMAAC, a community-based organization that has been integral in supporting community engagement efforts.

“When we opened this center, it was our hope that it would become an integral part of this vibrant community as we provide health, wellness, and supportive services,” says Sandra E. Brooks, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Executive Vice President, Chief Community Health Equity Officer, Thomas Jefferson University. “We are honored that residents have entrusted us with their care and that we have been able to meet so many where they are to provide this life-saving vaccine.”

This milestone comes on the heels of Jefferson’s Mobile Vaccination Program administering over 7,000 vaccinations to Philadelphians by the end of 2021. These doses were administered to youth and adults at community events, schools, recreation centers, and public parks to a population that was 32% African American, 31% Hispanic, and 18% Asian, with 35% being primarily non-English speaking. The mobile vaccination program is made possible in part through the Ford Foundation, which generously donated the vehicles to Jefferson. 

Media Contact:
Jessica Lopez
jessica.lopez3@jefferson.edu