Collaboration Promotes COVID-19 Vaccination Equity

Dentistry Today


Henry Schein has partnered with the Black Coalition Against COVID-19 (BCAC) in support of BCAC’s recent virtual town hall, “Making It Plain: A COVID-19 Town Hall for Minority Health Professionals.”

Henry Schein said that its collaboration with the BCAC reinforces its advocacy for vaccine equity and the vital role that primary care physicians and other office-based healthcare practitioners play in expanding COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide.

Launched in 2020 by the BCAC, Making It Plain is a national-level series of educational, open-forum virtual town hall conversations led by senior government officials and leading minority health professionals on the epidemiology, prevention, treatment, and vaccination efforts for COVID-19.

The latest town hall emphasized the vital resource that primary care physicians are in the COVID-19 vaccination effort because of the high level of trust they have with their patients, their understanding of a patient’s health history, and their physical presence in every community across the country.

During the town hall, Ann Marie Gothard, vice president of global corporate media relations at Henry Schein, discussed the need for office-based partnerships in minority communities to have access to the vaccine and the opportunity to complement existing distribution efforts by ensuring that all healthcare providers, in close partnership with community-based and faith-based organizations, have ready access to vaccines to administer to their patients.

“Henry Schein is pleased to partner with the BCAC to further our efforts in strengthening equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein.

“Henry Schein has been advocating on critical issues during the COVID-19 period, initially in making personal protective equipment and point-of-care rapid testing available to office-based physicians and dentists, and most recently for the increased leveraging of the nation’s trusted community of physicians and dentists in partnership with community-based organizations in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Bergman.

“More effective activation of primary-care physicians will open up hundreds of thousands of additional vaccination sites in the US, allowing much broader reach into communities, particularly in minority communities, where hesitancy rates are high and access to vaccination sites may be limited,” Bergman said.

For the past several months, Henry Schein and the BCAC have partnered to determine recommendations and strategies to accelerate equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Henry Schein said it supports a broad array of providers in a variety of settings, many of whom are frontline office-based and community health providers.

Being close to this critical part of the healthcare infrastructure has given the company insights into the public health needs of underserved populations. Because of this experience, Henry Schein said it is uniquely positioned to collaborate with the BCAC in the effort to strengthen equitable vaccination in the country.

In addition to Henry Schein’s participation with BCAC, Bergman recently issued a statement of support for congressional efforts to expand COVID-19 vaccine distribution, highlighting these significant lags in vaccination rates, particularly in communities of color, rural communities, and among the elderly and disabled.

Henry Schein said it continues to speak with government officials, calling for more effectively involving primary care physicians and other office-based healthcare professionals in the vaccine dissemination process.

Also, Bergman participated in the BCAC’s “Making It Plain: Minority Health Professionals and COVID-19 Vaccine Dissemination” panel to discuss the supply, allocation, distribution, and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Our partnership with Henry Schein and the opportunities it presents to engage with office-based physicians and dentists to address urgent COVID-19 pandemic concerns is critical,” said Reed Tuckson, MD, cofounder of the BCAC.

“Their support of our Making It Plain virtual town hall series, which addresses concerns of the Black community and minority health professionals, has helped us produce high-value events that offer trustworthy and actionable information from respected research and clinical experts,” said Tuckson.

“Henry Schein stands ready to support the efforts of the coalition to strengthen health equity,” said Bergman. “Together with the BCAC, we have the ability to help contribute to accomplishing the goal of ensuring every American has access to the vaccine.”

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