Lt. Governor Visits Traverse City Vaccine Clinic
Michigan’s Lt. Governor came to Northern Michigan Friday to view the Grand Traverse County’s Department of Health vaccination clinic. The visit takes place because the health department is administering the vaccine to a particularly vulnerable population.
9 & 10 was the only news organization available for the event – and Bill Froehlich spoke to Lt. Governor one on one.
Governor Garlin Gilchrist says he’s impressed with what he sees in Traverse City. “The people who showed up, the partnerships between the county, college, United Way and the Michigan National Guard. Everyone comes together to make sure we can vaccinate. “
The official visit of the Lt. Gouverneurs takes place on a day when the Health Department works with The Disability Network to reach vulnerable adults with physical or other disabilities. Mike Lahey, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, says, “We work with some specific populations, some of whom target some vulnerable populations. So we’re working with the Disability Network and Community Mental Health. “
Governor Gilchrist added, “We are also seeing a focus on vaccinating people with disabilities. And other types of physical and mental health problems. A very critical population in our state that we need to make sure they are protected from this virus. ”
Jim Moore is the Executive Director of the Disability Network. He says, “People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to the virus. And with the underlying conditions, it is very important to their safety and health. We’re really excited to be here, and I know the people who record here are really excited too. “
Lt. Governor Gilchrist says, “I really like the fact that this is a hybrid location. Where people walk to get appointments and also people who pull up to get appointments. I haven’t seen this anywhere else in the state. It’s really great to see this work. “
According to Lahey, some of this adjustment was made at the last minute. “Based on the population we serve today, as the health department we did some filming to get a vaccine out of the building for some people who may not be able to get out of a vehicle. You really saw that (the Lt. Governor) recognized this spontaneous decision making. He said he hadn’t really seen that yet. “
This is an innovation, says the governor, that he would like to introduce across the state. “That is very encouraging and motivating for me. Just as it motivates the volunteers and professionals who serve the people. “
“We saw nurses come out of retirement. We have seen community leaders and community organizations come together to work together in ways they would never have done before. Because we are facing the greatest challenge of our life. “
Community partners say they are grateful for Lt. Governor and for sharing their efforts. Lahey says: “The weeks are long. It’s been a long year, hasn’t it? It is really nice to see you here in the building and to spend time with our staff. We really appreciate that. “
NMC President Nick Nissley said, “It is an opportunity for us to thank all of these incredible volunteers, from the National Guard to community members. Even our own nursing students here in college. “Nissley also says it is also an opportunity for community leaders to recognize volunteer efforts, although he admits that the opening of NMC’s Hagerty Center appears to be taking longer than initially anticipated. “I think, like everyone else, we thought it might be shorter than longer. But we are ready to help the community for as long as we have to. Because we know we have to be here now. That’s what the community needs and that’s what we’re here for. “
And it turns out to be a benefit for NMC’s nursing students as well. “One commented on how much she appreciated the opportunity to volunteer and give back to the community. Then she proudly commented, “I already have a job at Munson!” So it’s great to see them have this hands-on, hands-on experience. You give something back to the community. “
The visit comes after President Biden announced on May 1 the goal of extending vaccination eligibility to all adults – and Michigan followed suit with its own announcement: that a mass vaccination clinic is coming to Ford Field, Detroit; and Michiganders with disabilities can get the vaccine on March 22nd. From April 5th, all residents over the age of 16 can be vaccinated.
Lt. Governor Gilchrist says, “We are now working to ensure that we can increase supply to meet demand. But we need a high demand because we have a lot of people we want to vaccinate. As we increase the supply, which happens week after week, the supply just keeps getting bigger. We have more than 400,000 cans in Michigan this week alone. Our greatest show ever. It’s only going to increase, especially with the third safe and effective vaccine. “
The president also indicated in his address to the nation Thursday evening that the nation was working hard to allow “small gatherings” through July 4th. We asked the governor – and whether Michigan would follow suit, or whether states would have the ability to set their own expectations. “We will go there as responsibly and safely as possible. I can’t tell if it will be exactly July 4th or a date before that. But our goal, Governor Whitmer and my goal, is to make sure people get the safe and effective vaccine, that people are still being tested so that they know their status, and that we can start developing parts of our economy and activities that who do this, include again we miss and know and love asap. “
The Lt. Governor says it’s personal – and he knows it applies to many Michigandans. “This is a pandemic that has visited me personally. Personally, I have lost 27 people in my life to COVID-19. So I understand how difficult this is for people in our communities across the state. ”