Tuesday, May 04, 2021

The Pittsburgh Foundation Awards Grant to AHN to Support Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine

Grant Funding will go toward Network’s Ongoing Efforts to Increase Vaccine Access for Populations Hit Hardest by the COVID-19 Pandemic

PITTSBURGH  – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced today it has received a grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation to support ongoing efforts to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine through community and faith-based partnerships across the Greater Pittsburgh area. The announcement is the latest milestone in the health system’s robust vaccine rollout program, which has placed a strong emphasis on equitable vaccine distribution for those hit hardest by the pandemic.

Over the past several weeks, AHN has hosted COVID-19 vaccine clinics at area churches including Mount Ararat Baptist Church, Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh and Petra Ministries Clinic to reach underserved communities and minority populations. AHN will use the most recent funding to continue its outreach to Pittsburgh-based community groups, schools and churches.

“As AHN continues to work with minority communities to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, we have found that many residents lack transportation, access to online tools to register for vaccines, and lack trust in the necessity and efficacy of the vaccine,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN.  “Through this generous grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation, our partnership with faith-based community organizations will enable residents of these communities to access the COVID-19 vaccine through a trusted source in a neighborhood close to home, without registration barriers.”

To date, AHN has been able to routinely allot upward of 30% of its vaccine supply for minority groups and the underserved, based on regional demographics.

“Minority populations have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic over the last year, and continue to experience access barriers to the vaccine in many parts of the country,” said Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, AHN chief clinical diversity and inclusion officer. “AHN and Highmark Health are committed to an equitable vaccine distribution that is reflective of our region’s demographics. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of organizations like The Pittsburgh Foundation that enable us to reach even more of our friends and neighbors in the Greater Pittsburgh area, and particularly those communities that have been hit the hardest.”

Overall, AHN has distributed more than 300,000 doses across its mass vaccination sites, hospital facilities and community-based clinics. More than 80% of those allotted have been for the general public.

“The Pittsburgh Foundation recognizes the degree to which Black and Brown people have been disproportionately affected by the COVID pandemic, and we support AHN’s Mon Valley community-based vaccination efforts," said Lisa Schroeder, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “This is an important effort to provide protection to people who, due to work obligations and child care and transportation challenges, might not otherwise have ready access to these life-saving vaccines.”

The Network continues to hold both appointment-based and walk-in vaccination clinics. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s vaccine-rollout plan, all state residents age 16 or older are now eligible to receive the vaccine.


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