Health for the whole community

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
A man gets a vaccine Thursday at the LiveWell Finney County Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination/Testing Clinic.  This was the first mobile clinic in Finney County for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Brigett Clark, right, helps a pair of local residents with the paperwork involved in getting the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday at East Garden Village during a mobile vaccination/testing clinic.

LiveWell Finney County's COVID-19 testing and vaccine event in East Garden Village Thursday was a success.

Callie Dyer, executive director of LiveWell Finney County, said the event went really well, plenty of people turned out, got vaccines and got tested.

"We're very pleased with the turnout and with the comments that we're hearing," she said.

LiveWell had 500 shots to give out and 700 saliva COVID tests. The event was free and did not require any identification.

Dyer said the reason for the event is LiveWell's mission, health for all in the community.

"We want to be able to take stuff to the people and this is part of what we do. Not everybody has access, and being able to have access to care is real important to us," she said. "One way for them to get access is to take it to them."

East Garden Village is a high traffic area and public transportation does not run there, Dyer said. So it was important to be there in-person to give people access who may not be able to drive, or families that don't have a second car.

"If we can get to people where it's easy for them to get to, that's one of the reason we come here," she said. "Not only are there a lot of people here but across the road there are a lot of people and there's people beyond, it's just an easy access (place)."

Jazmine Busos. left, and Gonzalo Pavilla  wait the 15 minutes after getting vaccinated as a LiveWell Finney County's mobile COVID-19 Vaccination/Testing Clinic at East Garden Village Thursday. With temperatures in the 70s, the clinic was held outside.

Heather Wright-Renick, of LiveWell Finney County and Breast Program Coordinator at St. Catherine Hospital, is glad to have come to East Garden Village.

"We understand that transportation is difficult, so hopefully this makes it a little easier for them to be able to get to us," she said. "I also just think it shows them that we acknowledge that this community is here and we're here to help whoever we can. We want people that need the shots to be getting them."

Gonzalo Pavilla came to the event to get the vaccine, to be protected, to not be able to get the virus as easy. He's happy to see the organization come to his community.

"I think it's a good thing, helps out a lot of other people that wouldn't be able to go out somewhere else to get it, can't drive or something, they can just come here," he said. "It's a good thing."

Fritz Perez came to the event to be vaccinated as well. He got the vaccine to keep his wife and three children safe. His wife is waiting to get the one dose, Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"I'm very grateful, it's a great opportunity that the government is funding ways to reach out to the communities for us to be safe and to have the greater community be safe also," he said.

The mobile event, while hosted by LiveWell Finney County, is being done in partnership St. Catherine Hospital, Genesis Family Health, Finney County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

It was made possible due to a grant with KDHE and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

A second event at East Garden Village will occur on April 29 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m where those vaccinated with one of the two-dose vaccines can get their second shot and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available.

Another clinic, held by the Finney County Health Department, was held Friday at Garden City Community College.