West County Health Centers identified that problem on its platform immediately when it began to set up vaccination clinics at Guerneville School and Analy High School this week. The group is using a platform designed by the state Department of Public Health.
Sensing a brewing mess, CEO Jason Cunningham and his staff used their own algorithm to check on the eligibility of those had signed up for the clinics. They found that of the 250 people who had signed up for the first day of shots, close to 80 were ineligible. The health group called every single one of them and explained the situation, expending many hours of labor in the process.
Cunningham worries about the ramifications of the stilted process.
“Relationship is our primary product in health care,” he said. “Particularly in primary care. If we lose the trust of our community, we undermine the trust of health care.”
In partnership with the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Sonoma County Office of Education, 5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, and other community leaders, West County Health Centers will open two community vaccination sites in western Sonoma County, one located at Guerneville Elementary School and the other at Analy High School in Sebastopol. WCHC will be following the tiered system of distribution as put forth by state and federal guidelines. For information on the tiers, please visit the Sonoma County Emergency Services page.
West County Health Centers’ goal is to offer as many vaccinations as possible, depending on available supply. Timing of sites and how many appointments are available for each day will depend on the weekly vaccine distribution from the County.
“With our dedicated WCHC staff, volunteers, and community partners we plan to open our community vaccination sites with a goal to optimize our resources to deliver the maximum rate of vaccinations per day/hour possible,” WCHC leaders said in a press release.
“For the past decade, there have been multiple attempts in the Legislature to make this change,” Wood said in a Sept. 29 press release announcing his bill had been signed into law. “During that time, it became obvious to me that we have a serious shortage of primary care physicians, so I dove into the issue – the need, the research and what other states have done – in order to come up with an appropriate process that can improve access to quality health care, especially in rural and underserved areas.”
Surani Hayre-Kwan, a nurse practitioner who since 2002 has practiced at Russian River Health Center in Guerneville, has had her eye on the profession since she was a child.