Bartz-Altadonna Community Health Center (BACHC) first developed a relationship with the Lancaster School District through attendance at local community events and meetings. In the summer of 2015, the school district opened a Welcome and Wellness Center at the Antelope Valley Partners for Health building in order to have a centralized place to meet with potential registrants and their families and to provide education and outreach to those families in most need. The Welcome and Wellness Center, under the leadership of Cheryl Gorman, houses staff that specialize in Hispanic Outreach, Homeless Outreach, and with this opening, hired an LVN to help new registrants with medical requirements. One of its main goals is to ensure that all requirements are met so that each student starts school on time and daily attendance is maximized.
During the first school year of 2015-2016, at the Welcome and Wellness Center, the team found that there were many 7th graders that were not ready to complete registration because they did not have the TDAP immunization. BACHC was asked to help facilitate getting these students immunized at the clinic. BACHC demonstrated the willingness and capacity to help them out. Soon, a plan was developed by both parties to address this problem by holding mobile immunization clinics. BACHC utilized their collaboration with Career Care Institute; providing training to their LVN students in exchange for use of a recreational vehicle outfitted as a mobile medical clinic.
BACHC participated in spring and summer immunization clinics with the Lancaster School District. The Welcome and Wellness Center did an amazing job of advertising the clinics at various school sites and successfully marketed the events via blast emails, texts and flyers sent home with all students. During the Spring Immunization Clinics, 50 students received TDAP vaccinations. The following Summer Immunization Clinics added an additional 83 students to bring the total to 133 students who received TDAP vaccinations. Many families in the Antelope Valley have limited resources and struggle with transportation, time, and insurance to have their children immunized. Mobile Clinics held at their neighborhood schools helped them overcome some of these challenges and greatly eased their burdens regarding enrollment. With each mobile clinic, processes were streamlined and overall results yielded greater numbers of students ready to start school. Future plans are still being discussed regarding continuation of these mobile immunization clinics.