A Belton health clinic that serves uninsured Bell County residents more than doubled the number of flu shots given last year thanks to a Local Impact Grant provided through the Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program. The clinic was able to give 160 adults flu shots with the grant funding, compared with 70 given during the 2018-19 flu season.
Herman Poteet, MD, a Temple internist, who volunteers at Body of Christ Clinic, said the funding allowed the clinic to reach patients who might not otherwise have gotten a flu shot. Sixty-five percent of patients seen at the clinic during September and October received a flu shot.
“The feedback we heard from patients was positive,” Dr. Poteet said. “Many were grateful they could receive the flu shot free of charge.”
The shot clinic also increased the clinic’s visibility in the community, Dr. Poteet said. “Established patients told friends and family members about the program, many of whom had never been seen in our clinic, who came in and received vaccinations,” he said.
You can help your community prevent disease by hosting a shot clinic or vaccine education event in your town. Use the TMA Foundation Online Grant Interface to submit a Be Wise grant application by March 1 for events in the summer or later. Grantees have up to 12 months to use the funds.
TMA physicians and clinics, medical students, county medical societies, and TMA Alliance chapters are eligible to receive a Be Wise Local Impact Grant of up to $2,500. Special consideration is given this year to events that occur in high-need areas as identified in the 2019 Be Wise – Immunize Survey Report (see page 4 for maps). Funding for vaccination education events, such as a townhall meeting or presentation to a PTA, is a new offering of the Local Impact Grants program.
For help planning your event, check out the Be Wise – Immunize Quick Start Manual: A Step-by-Step Vaccination Outreach Guide and Be Wise Event Ideas.
TMA actively works to improve vaccination rates in Texas through Be Wise. Nearly 390,000 shots have been given to Texas children, adolescents, and adults since the program began in 2004.
Be Wise – Immunize is a joint initiative led by TMA physicians, medical students, and the TMA Alliance. It is funded by TMA Foundation in 2020 thanks to major support from H-E-B, and generous donations from physicians and their families and other donors whose gifts create a Healthy Now and Healthy Future for more Texans.
Be Wise – Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.