When It’s Your Turn, Get Your COVID-19 Vaccination

March 18, 2021
ford field vaccine site

DETROIT (March 18, 2021) – With the Ford Field mass vaccination site set to open on March 24, Henry Ford Health System and the community partners involved in operating the site had a unified call to action for the people of Michigan Thursday: When it’s your turn, get your COVID-19 vaccination.

“Henry Ford Health System is excited to serve as a health system partner for this mass vaccination clinic at Ford Field and join with our local, state and federal partners to accelerate Michigan's efforts in getting vaccinations in people's arms and moving closer to ending this pandemic," Henry Ford President and CEO Wright Lassiter III said during remarks at a news conference at Ford Field. “When you become eligible, please register to get your vaccination and encourage your family members to do the same. And also please continue to adhere to our CDC guidelines regarding mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings and frequent hand washing.”

The news conference brought together on one stage leaders and elected officials from Henry Ford, Detroit Lions, State of Michigan, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Meijer and Protect Michigan Commission (PMC), comprising a community partnership of private and public sectors. For safety reasons, there were no invited guests and chairs for members of the media were placed well apart to accommodate appropriate social distancing.

Also making remarks were Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, FEMA Region 5 Acting Regional Administrator Kevin Sligh Sr., Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes and PMC Director Kerry Ebersole Singh.

Henry Ford is serving as medical director for the site and is the only health system in Michigan chosen to provide support. The role includes providing onsite expertise and oversight for the vaccine administrations and medical care as well for the logistics and operations.

The health system was chosen for this leadership role because of its expertise in disaster management and vaccine administrations, having demonstrated a proficiency and command for standing up multiple mass vaccination sites of its own across the region. “We are sharing our best practices with our support partners to ensure people who come to Ford Field have a safe and seamless vaccination experience,” Lassiter said.

Lassiter recognized four team members who are serving in leadership roles at Ford Field:

  • Steven Rockoff, D.O., Service Chief of Emergency Medicine, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
  • Valerie Gunn, Director of Regional Ambulatory Operations
  • Rox Gatia, Director of Pharmacy Services at Henry Ford Hospital
  • Sam Mossallam, M.D., Vice President and Medical Director of HFHS International Initiatives

Lassiter said afterward that Henry Ford’s participation in the vaccination site is part of its mission to make an impact in the community beyond healthcare.

“When I see an effort like this, it reminds of how amazing the team members are at Henry Ford Health System, how folks lean in to provide significant support to make sure our communities are as healthy as possible. So, thank you Henry Ford team members.”

Whitmer said more than 335,000 additional doses of vaccine are expected to be administered during the eight-week operation at Ford Field. Currently, more than 3 million doses of vaccine have been administered statewide. She said Ford Field will build on the “incredible progress we are making.”

“If we want to get back to normal, which I know we’re unanimous on that front,” Whitmer said, “We all need to get vaccinated. And to encourage our loved ones and friends, co-workers, neighbors to do so as well.”

Whitmer thanked all the community partners and added this about Henry Ford: “I have to express my gratitude to Henry Ford Health System as a critical partner in our efforts to date and with this announcement today.”

The site, which is being managed by the State of Michigan and FEMA, has the capacity to administer 6,000 doses each day. Vaccines administered at Ford Field are in addition to Michigan’s regular statewide vaccine allotment. Key facts to know:

  • When the site opens on March 24, it will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. for eight weeks
  • The U.S. Air Force will provide vaccination support
  • 68 vaccination pods will be set up on the Concourse at Ford Field. Vaccinations are open to those who meet the MDHHS vaccine guidelines
  • Registration and appointment scheduling are being managed by Meijer. People can register 3 ways:
  1. Online at https://clinic.meijer.com/register/CL2021
  2. Text EndCOVID to 75049
  3. Call the State of Michigan COVID hotline at 888-535-6136 (Press 1) Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

First and second doses of Pfizer will be administered in the first six weeks of operation. For the last 2 weeks, Ford Field will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccines administered at Ford Field are in addition to Michigan’s regular statewide vaccine allotment.

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About Henry Ford Health System

Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a non-profit, integrated health system committed to improving people’s lives through excellence in the science and art of healthcare and healing. Henry Ford Health System includes Henry Ford Medical Group, with more than 1,900 physicians and researchers practicing in more than 50 specialties at locations throughout Southeast and Central Michigan. Acute care hospitals include Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI and Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson, MI – both Magnet® hospitals; Henry Ford Macomb Hospital; Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital; and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

The largest of these is Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, a quaternary care research and teaching hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center recognized for clinical excellence in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, and multi-organ transplants. The health system also provides comprehensive, best-in-class care for cancer at the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, and orthopedics and sports medicine at the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine – both in Detroit.

As one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health System annually trains more than 3,000 medical students, residents, and fellows in more than 50 accredited programs, and has trained nearly 40% of the state’s physicians. Our dedication to education and research is supported by nearly $100 million in annual grants from the National Institutes of Health and other public and private foundations.

Henry Ford’s not-for-profit health plan, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), provides health coverage for more than 540,000 people.

Henry Ford Health System employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 1,600 physicians, more than 6,600 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals.

NEWS MEDIA ONLY may contact: David Olejarz / [email protected] / 313-303-0606
                                                             Kim North Shine / [email protected] / 313-549-4995