Rep. Mike Levin Tours Vista Community Clinic Vaccine Operation
VCC One of the First Federally Qualified Community Health Centers to Receive Additional COVID Vaccines Directly from HHS
Vista, CA – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) toured the Vista Community Clinic (VCC) on Monday to review their COVID-19 vaccination operation and highlight the critical role Community Health Centers (CHCs) have in providing vaccines and other health care services for underserved populations. Rep. Levin also presented Congressional Certificates of Recognition to local Promotoras thanking them for their vaccine outreach to vulnerable communities.
Earlier this year, the VCC was among the first 25 federally qualified CHCs in the nation to receive additional COVID vaccines directly from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These doses were provided as part of a collaboration between the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to target community members who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, including people experiencing homelessness, migrant farmworkers, and others. The VCC was also awarded $14.7 million from the American Rescue Plan to support these populations.
“I am deeply grateful for everything the Vista Community Clinic is doing to get shots in arms, particularly for those in our community who have been hardest hit by this virus and often face the greatest challenges in accessing health care,” said Rep. Levin. “Thanks to the federal resources provided under the American Rescue Plan, we are making incredible progress in vaccinating the local population and limiting the spread of this virus. The dedicated health care professionals at the Vista Community Clinic and our local Promotoras are truly heroes who are saving lives, and I’ll continue to do everything I can to support their work.”
“On behalf of everyone at Vista Community Clinic, I would like to thank Congressman Levin for taking the time to come and see our COVID-19 vaccination efforts firsthand,” said Fernando M. Sañudo, MPH, CEO, Vista Community Clinic. “As one of the first designated vaccine equity distribution sites in San Diego, we have made great progress, and were honored to have these efforts acknowledged by our Congressman. His visit, that also included special recognition to our promotoras who are working so diligently to educate the farmworker community, goes a long way to energize staff and supporters. We are grateful for his time, and look forward to continuing our work to keep individuals and families, of all ages and backgrounds, safe and healthy.”
The American Rescue Plan provided $7.6 billion to support COVID-19 response efforts at CHCs, and the Vista Community Clinic received $14.7 million of that funding. The VCC was also selected by HRSA and CDC to participate in an initiative to expand vaccine distribution to underserved communities, including individuals experiencing homelessness, public housing residents, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, and patients with limited English proficiency. Rep. Levin has advocated for CHCs like VCC throughout the pandemic. Last year, he led a letter with 72 of his House colleagues calling on HHS to direct more relief funding to CHCs and other Medicaid providers to cover unreimbursed health care related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the pandemic. He led another letter with more than 240 Members of Congress to HHS opposing changes that placed stricter limits on the way health care providers could use federal aid from the Provider Relief Fund.
About VCC: With eight state-of-the-art locations in North San Diego, Orange and Riverside Counties, VCC provides affordable, high quality health care to more than 69,000 community residents. Services offered by VCC include primary care, pediatrics, prenatal and women’s health, optometry, chiropractic care, dental health, podiatry, acupuncture and behavioral health services. VCC also offers a wide array of community health education programs which are free and open to all community residents. VCC is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 (highest) Patient-Centered Medical Home, and is the recipient of the HRSA National Quality Leader Seal for exceeding national clinical quality benchmarks.