By mid-July 2021, AdventHealth, which manages 41 hospitals across seven Midwestern and Southern states, had administered over 270,000 COVID-19 vaccinations. And there’s a lot more work to be done.
The health system knows that as coronavirus variants continue to spread, it’s critical to not only continue encouraging more and more people to get vaccinated but also accelerate efforts to reach people who are hesitant or mistrust the shots. About 97% of roughly 12,700 CCOVID-19 patients treated so far in 2021 at AdventHealth were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Of the fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients who have been or are in AdventHealth hospitals, many have weakened immune systems due to cancer or other conditions.
Advent Health’s new assignment: Educate people on the new variants and continue to underscore the safety, effectiveness and benefits of the free vaccines.
So how is the health care system getting the task done?
One way is by inviting first lady Jill Biden and Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, to join Robin McGuinness, AdventHealth senior executive officer for patient outcomes, at a “Shots on Ice” vaccination event in Tampa, Fla. The famous guests sent a strong, unified message: If you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time.
According to an AdventHealth article, Fauci said, “We cannot do it without you. Everyone who gets vaccinated and everyone who injects a vaccine into someone’s arm is a very, very important part of the solution to this very difficult time that our entire world is going through.”
Jill Biden added, “Getting the vaccine is safe, it’s effective and it’s free. This is your choice, so get the information that you need.”
The health system also is encouraging people to get vaccinated by sharing COVID-19 patient stories. Anthony Tucker, M.D., otolaryngologist at AdventHealth, contracted COVID-19 while working in the emergency department. In a video story, Tucker described his experience. “It was October 18, and I couldn’t breathe. … There was no option — I had to go to the emergency room. That was the beginning of the whole ordeal.” He added, “Every day my lungs were getting worse. … this infection that I didn’t think was going to affect me very much. I’m a 46-year-old, healthy man.” Tucker spent several months in the hospital and got the COVID-19 vaccine three days after leaving the intensive care unit.
Moreover, AdventHealth formed a scientific committee composed of infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, researchers and other health care leaders who meet regularly to review the latest vaccine data and findings, including information on the emerging variants. The committee’s goal is to distill information into easily understandable updates to help ease people’s mind and help them make informed decisions. All of the information collected from the health system’s team of experts, state and local authorities, and the scientific community as a whole can be found on the health system’s comprehensive vaccine resource hub.
A coronavirus mental health resources page is one of AdventHealth’s newest offerings. Because mental health is an important aspect of a person’s physical well-being, the resource page serves to support the care of body, mind and spirit.
In addition, a new guide addresses the “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” against coronavirus debate, helping people navigate discussions about the vaccines so that vaccinated people can encourage others to get the shot too.
Learn more about AdventHealth’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign here.