COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most significant global health challenges in the past 100 years. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, creating a rapid response program has been a central part of the Global Health Initiative (GHI) team’s ongoing efforts to protect our community’s most vulnerable populations. By connecting Henry Ford Health System resources with our local and national partners, we have played a significant role in testing, research and vaccine distribution.

Rapid Testing Clinic

Partnering with the Detroit Health Department, the GHI team was able to open one of the first rapid testing centers in the country. With the help of volunteer medical students, the clinic has administered over 30,000 COVID-19 rapid tests to first responders and essential workers.

Mobile Testing and Outreach

The GHI Mobile Health Clinics have been deployed throughout the community to provide testing, education and outreach to thousands of Detroit residents. Since April 2020, these mobile units have helped to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID Care Kits to nursing homes, senior low-income apartment buildings, schools, homeless shelters, and assisted living facilities. In addition, GHI collaborates with the Detroit Health Department to provide testing at select community sites.

Vaccine Trials

The COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are in place to test the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for the prevention of the COVID-19 virus. In August 2020, Henry Ford became involved in the Moderna vaccine trials that included over 30,000 participants nationwide. GHI also coordinates the Johnson & Johnson sponsored vaccine trials at Henry Ford after helping to designate the System as a primary trial site. In addition to clinical trials, GHI has conducted socio-behavioral research to assess participation at various stages of vaccine trials and perceptions about introduction of new vaccines.

Vaccine Distribution

As soon as COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for use by the FDA and distribution began, GHI has been closely involved in the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out to our local communities. The team has set up mobile vaccination clinics at work sites and throughout the community in collaboration with local and federal authorities. The goal of the community-based operations is to ensure fair and equitable access to the vaccine for those populations hardest hit by the pandemic and to provide information on the safety and importance of the COVID-19 vaccines.

GHI continues to be involved in qualitative research and community engagement activities focused on addressing vaccine hesitancy and increasing vaccine uptake. This includes the establishment of a Stakeholders Advisory Group, consisting of Henry Ford Health System staff and community representatives who provide input in the vaccine roll out from a community perspective.

Local and international impact

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