Mass Vaccination – Meet the “Equity POD”
The County of Marin has been working in collaboration with several organizations to run COVID-19 Vaccine Points of Distribution (POD) to vaccinate Marin residents. The Equity POD is set up at Marin Community Clinics’ Campus Clinic and has been operating since late January.
There is increasing evidence that some racial and ethnic groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Deep-rooted systemic health and social inequities are causes for the increased risk of contracting COVID-19. The Equity POD is dedicated to ensuring equitable access to the vaccine.
“The Equity POD’s goal is to eliminate or at least reduce the barriers for vaccination for vulnerable populations,” explains Lisa Ward, MD, MsPH, MS, Novato Regional Medical Director.
Together, the Clinics and the County, staff the Equity POD and coordinate its operations. Three to four hundred vaccines are provided a day, and as of March 13, over 8,000 patients and community members have been vaccinated at this site.
“The greatest joy in vaccination is not just the deep gratitude expressed by patients but is also in seeing the joy of all of our staff. With every vaccine we give, we know that we may be preventing entire families from experiencing immeasurable grief,“ says Melanie Thompson, DO, San Rafael Regional Medical Director.
“I’m so happy I received the vaccine. I feel that I’m saving my life and other people’s lives.”
Resolute in Our Commitment
The beginning of 2021 has been busy for Marin Community Clinics. We have been providing COVID-19 mass vaccinations in collaboration with Marin Public Health and testing for the virus, all while providing routine health care.
Our team is more optimistic than ever, thanks to safe and effective vaccines. It is a remarkable feeling to vaccinate people and alleviate their fears while ensuring equitable vaccine distribution in our community. This is why my team and I chose to work here.
As we pass the first anniversary of the pandemic, I recognize that it took incredible energy and resiliency to arrive where we are today – on the threshold of getting our lives closer to what they used to be.
Thank you for helping us do this vital work!
Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH
Chief Executive Officer
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Lisa Ward, MD, MsPH, MS
Novato Regional Medical Director
Dr. Ward joined the Clinics team in November of 2020. In her position, she oversees all Novato clinical staff members, volunteers, and works closely with other senior leaders to ensure the delivery of high quality care.
“Dr. Ward joined our team at a critical time. She is excelling in her role and as physician champion for the Clinics COVID-19 vaccination efforts,” says Jose Chibras, MD, CMO. “We are lucky to have the extensive experience and leadership skills that she brings to our team.”
Political Activism and Advocacy Work
Dr. Ward’s awareness of equity and understanding of the world is rooted in her experience of living abroad. For two and a half years she lived with her family in Nairobi, Kenya.
“My experience living abroad, and the exposure to political activism I had during my college years, motivated me to go into medicine and become an advocate for fairness and universal healthcare,” says Dr. Ward.
Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Ward holds a Doctor in Medicine degree from the University of California, San Francisco; a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and a Master of Science in Clinical Research from the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine.
CVNL Heart of Marin Awards
Clinics CEO Receives Excellence in Leadership Award
Congratulations to Dr. Mitesh Popat for receiving the 2020 Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership Heart of Marin Award for Excellence in Leadership!
“Dr. Popat has demonstrated compassionate and visionary leadership at the Clinics, inspiring its 500+ employees and creating meaningful and lasting changes benefiting our patients and community,” says Cris MacKenzie, Board of Directors Chair at the Clinics.
“He has been a caring and calm leader during these unparalleled times,” continues Cris. “Every decision he has made has been focused on keeping staff, patients, and the community safe from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. His leadership in responding to the many challenges of this pandemic has ensured that current and future patients of Marin Community Clinics receive quality health care.”
Summer Solstice Celebration
Save the Date!
Our Annual Summer Solstice Celebration will take place June 23, 2021.
To be held virtually one more time, we promise to deliver an engaging event as we did last year! Join us in honoring this year’s Community Health Champions – Lisa Leavitt, MD, longtime pediatrician at the Clinics, and Thomas Peters, PhD, Marin Community Foundation’s President & CEO.
Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Contact Lindsay Boughey at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Join us on June 23, 2021!
Touching Lives Through Health
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