ST. HELENA, Calif., Jan. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Two years ago, with only four days’ notice of the impending rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, St. Helena Hospital Foundation converted its mobile health van, into a COVID-19 vaccine program. Allowing it to become the first responder in the County to provide vaccines to the most vulnerable in the Napa County community. This week, the St. Helena Hospital Foundation celebrates the two-year anniversary of its heroic staff and technologically advanced facilities that enabled the Foundation’s early and successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable members of the Napa Valley community. Along with the hundreds of doctors, nurses, staff and community volunteers that enabled this life-saving campaign, the Foundation celebrates its unique, converted mobile health van that was itself a complete COVID-19 vaccine program on wheels. Since those early days of the new vaccines in early January, 2021, the Foundation’s mobile health unit has since hosted 450 clinics (including home visits) that provided 60,000 vaccines and boosters—a program recognized at a global telehealth conference in Denmark as a model for other community-based public health programs.
When the idea for the mobile health van was first discussed by Foundation Board members in 2018, the goal was to reach underserved communities with general health services, in particular, Upvalley seniors. When the pandemic hit, given the dire need for testing among farmworkers, the Foundation pivoted and forged partnerships with dedicated testing labs. With support from the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, the Foundation became the first to take large-scale Covid-19 testing directly to the Napa County agricultural workforce.
When the vaccines were rolled out in January 2021, the mobile health van allowed the program to pivot again. “We knew on Day 1 that the technology needed to register for a vaccine, as well as time and transportation to get to vaccine sites, would create barriers, so with the mobile health van, we were able to remove those barriers, making it easy and welcoming for everyone to receive their vaccines—and later, boosters,” says Noemi Mauricio, RN, Community Educator RN for the St. Helena Hospital Foundation Mobile Health Unit (MOBI).
“We were able to vaccinate the most vulnerable in their homes and the rest of the community at community vaccination sites, schools, businesses, churches, community centers, and even in the middle of vineyards, all across Napa County,” said Glen Newhart, President and CEO of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation. “While other agricultural areas in the state were ravaged by seemingly endless waves of infections, we were able to help keep Napa County workers safe.”
“Another key to success was our community volunteers. In the first week that vaccines were available, 150 medical and community volunteers—including nursing students from Pacific Union College and Napa Valley College as well as countless community supporters and partners like Napa Valley Vintners, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, and Napa County Farm Bureau—stepped up. Everyone came together for the health of our community.”
“We see mobile primary care as a key to our overall commitment to the health of our community—the last few years have shown that this is an excellent way to rapidly pivot to address the need to open up access to quality care to those who have not had access,” says Newhart. “Care for our vulnerable farmworkers and seniors has always been important to St. Helena Hospital. We provide health assessments and testing, in addition to COVID and flu vaccines, free of charge when and where our community needs us.”
“For 145 years, St. Helena Hospital has been part of the rich history of Napa County, and we are proud to celebrate of all our doctors, nurses, staff and community volunteers who have helped our communities survive and prevail over this awful pandemic – including taking our mobile health van where it is needed. We’re excited about the new ways we can improve the health of our family, friends and neighbors by taking healthcare out of the hospital and into our community with our mobile health team. We might be in a vineyard in Carneros one day, in Pope Valley the next, a school in Calistoga or community center on another, but wherever there is a need, we will be there.”
St. Helena Hospital Foundation provides philanthropic support and enhances community connection for Adventist Health St. Helena and its vision to transform the health of our communities. Established in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) organization, St. Helena Hospital Foundation partners with supporters to fund technology, equipment and programs that improve and save people’s lives. Its dedication to ensuring the most vulnerable populations in Napa County are healthy led to them winning a 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year. With a rich legacy of giving since the hospital’s inception in 1878, donations have allowed for Adventist Health St. Helena to remain at its best, providing top-quality care in the region. For more information, visit www.shhfoundation.org.
Contact: Glen Newhart
707-963-6206 | C 760-672-0319|
SOURCE St. Helena Hospital Foundation