October's Virtual CETR Journal Club

  • 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

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Equity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution has been a key consideration, particularly given the pandemic's disproportionate impact on people of color. In March 2021, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) asked the Duquesne University Center for Integrative Health (DUCIH) to establish a vaccine Point of Dispensing (POD) at Central Baptist Church in the Hill District to promote vaccine access to "populations who have not yet been reached through traditional means."

Dr. Jennifer Elliott, Director of DUCIH, assembled a University POD coordination team to collaborate with partners at Central Baptist Church and ACHD to meet this critical need. The University coordination team included representation from the Center for Excellence in Diversity & Student Inclusion, Center for Integrative Health, Division of Marketing & Communications, Office of Civic Engagement & External Relations, Online Learning & Strategy, Rangos School of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, and School of Pharmacy. During the POD's operation from March to June 2021, over 250 University volunteers participated in the distribution of 5,652 vaccines. DUCIH also continued the partnership with Central Baptist Church following the POD by offering health screenings and vaccines concurrently with the church's soup kitchen.

The pre-pandemic relationships that facilitated this partnership, the planning and implementation process, and lessons learned were shared in the article "Academic Center Partnership with Health Department and Church to Rapidly Deploy COVID-19 Vaccine POD Reaching Underserved Populations." During this journal club, authors Dr. Gale Garmong (Pharmacy), Dr. Bridget Calhoun (Rangos School of Health Sciences), Annie Nagy (ACHD), and Dr. Mary Parish (Online Learning & Strategy) will share how a team approach supported rapidly deploying this POD in less than three weeks. The authors will invite participants to discuss ways in which the pandemic has highlighted the importance of established partnerships and collaboration in their own community engagement, strategies for successfully recruiting and coordinating volunteers, and new partnerships and lessons learned from the pandemic response.