For More Information Contact:
Colleen Pillus, Communications Director (845) 486-2000
Colleen Pillus, Communications Director
Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced the Dutchess County Vaccine Outreach Coalition held its organizational meeting on Tuesday, March 9th. County Executive Molinaro assembled the group to help disseminate information to ensure the public has knowledge of the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and how the distribution system works, and ensure equitable vaccine distribution.
The goal of this diverse group of community leaders and county officials is to provide accurate, up-to-date information about the vaccination process, to ensure public trust in the vaccine. The coalition will focus on hard-to-reach populations and dispel myths about the vaccine through conversations with individuals and organizations and by distributing information provided by the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) and other reputable health sources.
Dutchess County’s goal is to vaccinate as many County residents as possible, from every community and background, to reach a great enough vaccination rate to provide the herd immunity necessary to keep Dutchess County as healthy and safe as possible.
The Vaccine Outreach Coalition is Dutchess County’s latest effort to ensure equitable vaccine distribution. The County, for example, has held online forums with essential workers, including law enforcement throughout Dutchess County, and the faith-based community, to connect them with local healthcare professionals who answered their questions about the current available vaccines to combat vaccine hesitancy.
“We have assembled an excellent group of community organizers, health officials and others to reach out to people about this essential issue,” County Executive Molinaro said. “As the vaccine becomes more widely available in the weeks and months ahead, this group will make a significant difference.”
The County Executive reminded residents that as the state continues to open eligibility, vaccinations are still limited, and patience will be required as the distribution process continues. The County has continually enhanced its notification system to better assist those looking for information about COVID-19 vaccine availability, including those without internet access.
The County encourages residents to complete its Vaccination Information Request Form for residents to receive a notification when a vaccine appointment is available to them, based on eligibility, at a County Point of Dispensing (POD) site. Those who sign up will also receive updates about vaccine availability at other providers around Dutchess County, including hospitals, medical practices and pharmacies. The form is available on the County’s vaccine information page: www.DutchessNY.gov/COVIDvaccine.
Those without internet access can call the Dutchess County Coronavirus Information Line at 845-486-3555 to hear weekly updates about vaccine availability in the county by selecting Option 1. Those over 65 years old can then choose to be connected with the Office for the Aging to be added to notification lists about appointment availability.
The County has two POD locations — one at the former JCPenney store at the Poughkeepsie Galleria at 2001 South Road Route 9, Poughkeepsie, and the former CVS at 3081 Route 22, Dover. These sites are by appointment only. Dutchess County has planned pop-up vaccination sites in the coming days, including in Beacon, Millbrook and Rhinebeck, in addition to recent state-operate pop-up sites at the Beulah Baptist Church and Marist College, both in Poughkeepsie.
Additionally DBCH last month provided vaccine doses, several staff and volunteers to Sun River Health, as the federally qualified health center set up a pop-up site at the Family Partnership Center in the City of Poughkeepsie to vaccinate its patients, as well as clients of Hudson River Housing and Mental Health America. DBCH has also partnered with healthcare providers such as CareMount Medical and Premier Medical Group to provide doses to vaccinate homebound seniors and medically frail individuals.
New York State has established its own mass vaccination sites across the state, and residents can go to https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov to check their eligibility and see if appointments are available. They also can call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline (1-833-697-4829), which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., for scheduling appointments at New York State-run vaccination sites (the nearest state-run locations include Westchester County Center, the Javits Center in Manhattan and SUNY Albany.); state-run sites in Orange and Ulster counties are expected to open “in the coming weeks,” according to New York State.
All residents are reminded to continue with coronavirus safety measures — wearing a face mask, frequent hand washing and physical distancing — to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Dutchess County Vaccine Outreach Coalition Members
Adil M. Ameer, former President and CEO of Health Quest
Dr. Brenda Ayers, Vassar Brothers Medical Center
Isis Benitez, Community Health Promoter, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, Newburgh & Poughkeepsie Healthy Black and Latinx Coalition
Stacey Bottoms, Associate Minister, Youth Director and Assistant Clerk, Beulah Baptist Church
Brian Doyle, Chief Executive Officer of Family Services Inc.
Melissa Clark, Senior Director of Community Impact, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region
Linda A. Eddy, Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County
Patricia Ferrer-Medina, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Marist College
Renee Fillette, Executive Director of Dutchess Outreach
Mario Johnson, Community Schools Administrator, Poughkeepsie City School District
Bill Irwin, retired pharmacist, member of the Opioid Task Force and local Pharmacists Association
Tom Lawrence, Director of Poughkeepsie Public Library District
Nasir Mahmood, Member New York State Board of Pharmacy/President Emeritus Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Pine Plains Pharmacy
Maffy Malaver, Director of ABC Latino
John McKenna, Executive Director of the Dutchess County Interfaith Council,
William Patterson, Nubian Directions II
Christine Sergent, Executive Director of North East Community Center
Rushi Shah, Rite Aid Regional Manager
Toni-Marie Ciarfella, Deputy Commissioner for Special Needs
Brian Jones, Outreach Coordinator, Office for the Aging
Jody B. Miller, Chair, Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights
John Penney, Communications Specialist