May 9, 2022

Desert Oasis Healthcare Launches Vaccination Campaign with Local Senior Centers

By Bob Marra

Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC) has launched its “Vax & Boost for the WIN!!” campaign with local senior centers to provide COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to as many eligible people as possible within their service area of the Coachella Valley and the high desert’s Morongo Basin, including Yucca Valley and other communities.

Vaccines and boosters become even more important as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) anticipates another wave of COVID-19 infections – this time from an even more transmissible Omicron subvariant. Accordingly, the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has authorized a second booster for vulnerable groups. The FDA classifies those groups as anyone over age 50 or those who have a weakened immune system and believes that a 4th shot – a second booster – could bolster any waning protection among those groups.

In addition to providing vaccines, as well as IV monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals to treat COVID-19, DOHC is an approved Riverside County regional provider of Evusheld, a medication given before an infection or exposure to avoid a COVID-19 infection.

DOHC offers donations to senior centers with most vaccines and boosters given by June 30.

“Local senior centers have access to many of those in our community in these two identified groups. Since we’ve had partnerships with the senior centers for many years, supporting the valuable programs and services they provide, it was a natural for us to reach out to these partners for collaboration once again,” said Dr. Marc Hoffing, Medical Director of DOHC. “That’s why we’re offering a $5,000 donation to the senior center that helps us give the most vaccines by June 30, 2022 to their members, volunteers, donors, and others needing a vaccine or booster. We’d love to get past the 100,000 marker of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters given by DOHC, so that everyone locally is that much closer to being protected from this pandemic.”

Joslyn Center has two “Vax & Boost” vaccine events scheduled already, with the first on Monday, April 18. Cathedral City Senior Center will hold a similar vaccine event on April 27 and Indio Senior Center will do the same on April 29. Desert Hot Springs Senior Center is planning a “Vax & Boost” event on May 2 but participation in the high desert communities is proving a challenge thus far since the Yucca Valley Senior Center closed for renovations until July.

DOHC staff will bring its mobile health clinic to “Vax & Boost” events at participating senior centers, for anyone who might need a first or second vaccine or a first or second booster. All participating senior centers will receive at least $1,000 while the center bringing the most “shots in arms” through DOHC by June 30 will get a $5,000 donation.

“We want to make sure these two vulnerable groups are protected but we also want to ensure everyone else who can and should receive a vaccine or booster against COVID-19 can get them easily and free of charge,” said Lindsey Valenzuela, PharmD and Associate VP of Population Health Integration for DOHC

“Given the two groups that are of particular concern, we knew that our local senior centers would be great partners in helping to continue giving vaccines and boosters.”

Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC) began offering COVID-19 vaccines on January 12, 2021. In anticipation of widespread availability to the community as well as its own members, DOHC converted the conference center at its Palm Springs campus headquarters into a vaccine center. Soon after, a second DOHC vaccine center opened at the DOHC clinics location in Indio. Both of these vaccine centers remain in place today.

As of early April 2022, DOHC has provided nearly 90,000 vaccines and boosters. “Our mobile health clinic has been busy, all over our two-county service area for more than a year, as our staff continued to offer the vaccines where they were needed. Now, we’re making a push to pass our 100,000 vaccines goal by June 30, 2022,” added Valenzuela. “Our participating senior center partners should encourage anyone who can’t make it to their ‘Vax & Boost’ events to mention their center’s name when coming into one of DOHC’s vaccine centers between now and June 30. We’ll include those names as a part of their total at the end of the campaign.”

When Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC) gave an additional $40,000 to local nonprofit organizations in celebration of its 40th anniversary on July 1, 2021, it welcomed the opportunity to donate a total of $24,000 to three organizations it had not previously funded, along with $16,000 more to organizations it had already been donating to annually. “Like a lot of other companies, we wish we had bottomless pockets when it comes to helping fund great charitable causes because there is so much need right here in our backyards,” said Hoffing. “But DOHC can and will continue to offer the ‘wealth, wisdom, and work’ that many of the nonprofits in our community depend on. Right now, we’re grateful for yet another opportunity to work with our senior center partners to provide these vaccines and boosters that are so vital in the fight against this continuing pandemic.”


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