Clarkston, GA — The City of Clarkston on Oct. 26 announced a new “Health for All” campaign in partnership with Georgia State University’s Prevention Research Center and Ethne Health.
As part of the campaign, mobile clinics provided by the DeKalb Board of Health will deploy to locations around Clarkston including apartment complexes and religious centers to conduct health screenings and provide vaccinations, health education, and referrals to further care.
Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks described the new program as building off Clarkston’s successful community health program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, which provided vaccines, PPE, and hand sanitizer. Vaccination rates in Clarkston are higher than other communities with vulnerable populations, who typically have a lower vaccination rate and access to medical care in general.
The pandemic highlighted disparities in health care access due to poverty, lack of insurance, and language barriers, especially for refugees and immigrants who are a significant portion of Clarkston residents.
“What are we doing next? How are we going to help our residents as we continue to fight COVID by making sure people get vaccinated but also focus on making sure they have access to care and see primary care physicians?” said Burks.
Comorbidities such as diabetes increase the risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19, and preventative care helps address those risk factors as well as improve health outcomes in general.
“Primary care is essential to people’s overall health,” said Dr. Andrew Kim of Ethne Health.
In addition to providing easy access to health screenings through mobile clinics, the Health for All campaign will also provide interpreters and “Healthy Living Kits” with information on free resources and navigating the health care system. The kits will also include medical information cards which residents can fill out with their name, the languages they speak, allergies, and other pertinent information.
“Our goal is to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care,” said Dr. Mary Helen O’Connor of Georgia State University’s Prevention Research Center.
In addition to medical care access and education, Health for All will also provide quality food to include vegetables and halal meat. Half of Clarkston’s residents were born outside the US, and the city is well known for welcoming refugees and immigrants, many of whom are Muslim.
The campaign will kick off Nov. 6 at Silver Oaks Apartments from 1p.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 7 at Clarkston First Baptist Church from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and Nov. 13 at Clarkston International Bible Church from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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