By: Anne Ward, CEC Student Ambassador
As the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the day-to-day realities of Pittsburgh residents, University of Pittsburgh students, staff and faculty went to work identifying and organizing areas of support for our region’s communities amidst unprecedented circumstances. The Pitt Pandemic Service Initiative brought together over 539 staff and faculty members and over 100 students to volunteer at 29 virtual and in-person events, including vaccination clinics taking place in the Homewood and the Hill District communities.
Care and Connection Callers, a program that places volunteers with organizations to contact local residents directly and connecting them to helpful pandemic relief resources, pointed neighbors to locations with emergency supply drives, hot meal distributions, free PPE (personal protection equipment) and more. When the time came to register residents seeking COVID-19 vaccinations, Connection Callers stepped up to the task!
Through the Community Engagement Centers (CEC) in Homewood and the Hill District, Pitt supported community-led efforts to vaccinate residents aged 65 years or older against COVID-19. The Homewood Children’s Village (HCV), along with Primary Care Health Services – Alma Illery Medical Center, worked with many community-based organizations and Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences and the Allegheny County Health Department to provide first and second doses of vaccine to residents at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA. A clinic was also held in the Hill District, led by Hill partners. Volunteers from HCV, Alma Illery and Pitt worked together to register over 2,000 residents for both clinics in less than two days. The result of these collaborations? Fully vaccinated neighbors!
Thank you to everyone who was involved as we push towards herd immunity.