Spectrum Health Launches Curbside Vaccination Program
Flu shots and more now available curbside at 40+ locations across West Michigan
September 11, 2020
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 11, 2020 – In an effort to encourage more Michigan residents to get a flu shot, Spectrum Health is launching one of the Midwest’s first curbside vaccination programs. Spectrum Health piloted the program at select locations and now has more than 40 sites operational across West Michigan.
“We wanted to meet patients where they are most comfortable, and for many that’s right in their vehicle,” said Rima Shah, MD, vice president and department chief for Primary Health at Spectrum Health. “There are several benefits to curbside, including no time spent in waiting rooms. We continually remind our patients that whether they choose to see us virtually or in-person, we’re here for you and we’re ready for you.”
This new curbside service is for all ages (including childhood vaccinations) and includes many immunizations, injections and tests as well as blood pressure checks. This includes a host of services—from flu vaccines to B12 injections and strep tests. The service is also helpful for patients that have mobility challenges.
Mary Zimmerman, immunization program specialist at Spectrum Health, says the program is meant to help families stay on schedule with vaccinations. Because many medical appointments had to be postponed or canceled during the pandemic, many fell behind on routine care.
“There are 16 vaccines available for serious illnesses, all of which are preventable diseases,” Zimmerman said. “In the last two years we have seen outbreaks in Michigan on measles, mumps and hepatitis A. We are hoping this new service will ease people’s minds and make it easier to keep up on necessary vaccinations.”
Appointments may be scheduled online, via My Chart, or by calling the office and requesting a curbside visit. The scheduler will inform patients to look for designated parking spaces upon arrival. Patients then call the phone number on the sign and registration is completed over the phone. Clinical staff then meets patients at their vehicle, ready to perform the necessary service through the car window.
Spectrum Health has already provided hundreds of curbside visits and most appointments take less than 10 minutes. Hospital leadership is assessing additional services that could safely be provided at the curbside with plans to continue to grow this program.
Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.