Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is now offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments for individuals aged 65 and older as part of Phase 2 of the Kansas Vaccine Prioritization Plan. There is no out-of-pocket cost to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations will be available at all CHC/SEK clinic locations.
The vaccine appointment telephone number to call is 866-888-8650, which will be answered 7 a.m. -7 p.m. seven days a week. There is an additional line for Spanish speakers, available at 620-240-8940, answered from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
CHC/SEK is one of 250 health centers nationally selected to receive a direct supply of COVID-19 vaccine to ensure underserved communities are equitably vaccinated, according to a recent announcement from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and CDC. A shipment of 4,000 doses of Moderna vaccine is expected to arrive the week of March 1.
CHC/SEK will follow the state priorities for what populations are eligible to receive the vaccine, however vaccine recipients will not be restricted by county residency, nor do they have to be a patient of CHC/SEK.
“This is a gift to the people of Southeast Kansas, the least healthy and most economically challenged region of the state,” said Krista Postai, President & CEO of CHC/SEK. “With almost 20 percent of our population over 65, the ability to reach out to provide this potentially life-saving vaccine is probably one of the most important initiatives in our history.”
Vaccine appointments will be available at CHC/SEK locations.
In Pittsburg, CHC/SEK has established a vaccine center at 924 N. Broadway, with extended and weekend hours to make receiving a COVID-19 vaccination as convenient as possible. The health center has also formed special vaccination outreach teams to target special populations by taking the vaccine to them.
“Based on the calls we’ve been receiving, we know many people are eager to get vaccinated and so afraid they’ll be overlooked because they live in rural Kansas,” Postai said. “It is so wonderful to tell them they’ve actually been prioritized nationally.”
CHC/SEK and Grace Med Topeka/Wichita were the two Kansas health centers chosen for this program. Both serve a large population of individuals experiencing homelessness, public housing residents, migratory and seasonal agricultural workers, patients with limited English proficiency and serve a significant population of patients age 65 years and older.
“We know these vaccines are safe and highly effective against a very serious disease,” Postai said. “Now that they have become available to us, CHC/SEK is ready to get them delivered into the arms of our communities.”
The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center dedicated to providing quality health care to everyone regardless of income or insurance status. CHC/SEK serves more than 50,000 children and adults annually and employs more than 400 professionals and support staff at 18 locations throughout Crawford, Cherokee, Labette, Linn, Montgomery and Allen counties, and Ottawa County in Oklahoma. CHC/SEK is governed by a 14-member Board of Directors, which includes patients from the communities it serves.