Loaves & Fishes was delighted to be chosen as the first stop for the Blue Ridge Health District’s new Mobile Health Clinic during our regular Wednesday afternoon food distribution on June 9, 2021. The health district purchased the unit, a long-time dream according to Carol Chandross, a nurse for 30 years with the health district, with the help of private funders. The district received the mobile clinic on Monday, June 7, dedicated it with Governor Ralph Northam, Albemarle Co. supervisor Donna Price, and Blue Ridge Health District executive director Dr. Denise Bonds on Tuesday, June 8, and started using it to give COVID-19 vaccines during Loaves & Fishes’ drive-through distribution the next day!
Some visitors picking up groceries at Loaves & Fishes on Wednesday afternoon were delighted to have the opportunity to receive their vaccination with no appointment or a long wait in line. One recipient was relieved to finally get vaccinated; her husband had already gotten his shot and she wants to protect herself and her family – and get her life back to something closer to “normal.” She was so excited that we gave her both of our offered incentives – extra meat and a tub of ice cream – for her willingness to be the first person vaccinated in the new clinic.
The health district’s goal is to use the mobile unit to take health care into local rural communities and to people without transportation, with its first stops aimed at making COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone. Six people left Loaves & Fishes newly vaccinated yesterday, and the health district and our hope is that, with planned visits around their coverage area, which includes Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson, VA, more people will take advantage of this simple and free option to avoid catching or sharing COVID-19.
Together with planned walk-in clinics around the community, the Blue Ridge Health District is taking medicine to people where they are – for the health of our community – and Loaves & Fishes is happy to partner on that goal!