Milwaukee's south side to see more access to COVID-19 vaccines thanks to Ascension, Sixteenth Street clinics

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- Ascension Wisconsin and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers have announced they are working together to significantly expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations on the southside of Milwaukee.

The combined efforts and resources were announced by the two organizations on Tuesday, March 9.

The expansion will be able to more than quadruple the number of vaccinations currently administered at Sixteenth Street's Parkway Clinic starting this week, officials say. The additional staff will be able to vaccinate up to 2,000 individuals a week. 

The two organizations say they aim at increasing accessibility, eliminate barriers, and support the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Because the Hispanic community we serve continues to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, it’s critical that we get more shots in arms as quickly as possible,” Liz Claudio, Vice President of Operations at Sixteenth Street, said. “Partnering with Ascension Wisconsin gives us the manpower we need to dramatically increase the number of community members we can vaccinate and work to minimize the racial and ethnic vaccination disparities."

Officials say several hundred Ascension Wisconsin healthcare workers will volunteer to support this effort by staffing 22 clinic positions a day, five days a week, for the next six weeks. The additional staff includes pharmacists, physicians, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacy and nursing students, along with other clinical and non-clinical support staff, officials say.

“We all have a unique role to play and each of us brings different resources as we respond to this health crisis. Building on our respective vaccination efforts and combining the strengths of Ascension Wisconsin and Sixteenth Street will make a greater impact on protecting the health of our community,” Reggie Newson, Vice President of Government and Community Services and Chief Advocacy Officer, Ascension Wisconsin, said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate to connect residents with vaccines more quickly, especially for those in neighborhoods disproportionately affected by COVID-19.” 

According to officials, an external heated clinic tent, with multiple exam rooms, will be used for vaccinations to increase capacity and accommodate more individuals. The tent was previously used for COVID-19 testing.

Sixteenth Street's Parkway Clinic is located at 2906 S. 20th Street in Milwaukee. Patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine can call 414-672-1353 to schedule an appointment. 

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