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 is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.