Pacific Health Plus (PHP), in partnership with Porirua Union Community Health Service (PUCHS), has opened a Covid-19 vaccination clinic at Freedom Church in Cannons Creek, Porirua.
The clinic was officially opened with a welcome greeting and blessing on Wednesday 28 July. In attendance were Barbara Edmonds, MP for Mana, Tagaloa Junior Ulu, Director of Pacific Health for Capital & Coast District Health Board, Pastor Teremoana Tauira, Ian Frater, Chairperson of PUCHS, and Molly Fiso, Advisory Board Member of Pacific Health Plus.
Lee Pearce, Director of Health for PHP, believes their community-focused approach is important for ensuring high vaccination rates. “We listen to what our patients are saying and walk beside them,” says Lee.
“Our staff are trusted faces, it makes a big difference being able to talk to patients one on one and in an environment where they’re comfortable to ask questions.”
PHP has engaged extensively in the lead-up to the clinic’s opening. This has included a successful information evening and QnA in April, and regular radio slots where Lee would answer listeners’ questions and provide information that builds on health literacy.
“People have been really responsive, there’s a quiet excitement in the community,” explains Lee.
A new booking system has been rolled out to ensure it is easy for people to book. Patients receive a text once they are eligible for their vaccine and can book via an online form, 0800 number (0800PHPLUS), or in person. While staff are proactively contacting enrolled patients.
Staff are also driving people to and from the clinic in the Pacific Health Plus van, ensuring the vaccination is accessible for everyone.
Plans are also being developed to have vaccination days focused on specific Pacific communities in the future.
“We’re bringing the vaccine directly to the community, to avoid barriers for those who are most vulnerable,” says John Fiso, Chairman of PHP.
“As the only Pacific owned and governed medical practice in the Wellington region, we’re focused on delivering a vaccine clinic that is responsive to Pacific needs. That is what our community needs and deserves.”