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California State Governor Gavin Newsom Visits Kendren Hospital
By Betti Halsell Contributing Writer
Published February 18, 2021

Observing the Success of the Co-Pilot Initiative of Vaccination Distribution in Impacted Communities

California State Governor Gavin Newsom arriving to Kendren Hospital. (Betti Halsell/L.A. Sentinel)

California State Governor Gavin Newsom visited the vaccine distribution center found at the Kendren Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Observing their protocols, the governor highlighted its success and stated that there should be hundreds more replicated, but in the current vulnerability of the state, every county is facing a different saturation of challenges that Newsom is looking to face head on.

On February 3, Newsom and the Biden administration announced a pilot partnership to open community vaccination centers in Oakland and Los Angeles. The Governor dissected the issues happening across the state are unique in each community and call for specific solutions. Newsom spoke of a new age of humility stemming from this; the solution is found within the alignment of the community and the organizations that look to serve the public.

The directive is in direct collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), they will provide resources and federal staffing support to new vaccination centers. Using the states “MyTurn” online system, the mission behind these co-piloted facilities is to expand the rate of vaccination in California, “in a effective and equitable manner,” focusing on high-risk communities, according to the released press information from the governors office.

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The coronavirus pandemic has been an impetus for accelerated progress and social change. The role of racism in the quality of one’s life, has been seen vividly through data and research that italicize demographics most susceptible to the virus.

There is a zoomed in lens, magnifying underrepresented and impacted communities and location of vaccination centers have become a key factor in treating the imbalance of resources found within the health care system.

Quoting the official press release, Newsom stated, “In the fight against COVID-19, partnership is key, especially when it comes to reaching Californians in underserved areas,” Governor Newsom continued, “These new sites will help us get available supply to some of the California communities most in need…”

It was 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15, the line for vaccinations traveled down the block, snaking around to the corner intersection of Avalon Blvd and 42nd Place. People of all ages and ethnicities were standing, funneling through the maze to get to Kendren Community Health Center, where COVID-19 vaccine shots were being administered. Some were there for the very first time and were nervous about the experience, others familiar with the process, stood ready for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

California State Governor Gavin Newsom visited the vaccine distribution center found at the Kendren Hospital in Los Angeles, Ca.

After a tour of the Kendren facilities led by Dr. Jerry P. Abraham, Newsom sat with L.A. Sentinel and stated, “This is great, this is amazing—I mean it’s a model and it needs to be replicated hundreds of times.” The governor spoke in full transparency of the challenges behind doing that, this type of organization depicted at Kendren Hospital is greatly needed across California.

Newsom mentioned the shared responsibility of the nation and how America has been shaken, abruptly woken up to the core issue of racial inequity hemorrhaging the resources in impacted communities. Coming into this level of awareness, location has played a significant role in vaccine distribution.

Newsom broke down the strategy behind the placement of resources includes a “healthy place index;” the analysis of social economics for over 200 communities and a close look at their equity index level, it all plays a critical role when deliberating the priority of supplies, amplified health care assistance, and vaccines.

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Looking directly at the vaccinations and the hesitation found among the population, Governor Newsom highlighted the African American community, he stated, “The African American community in particular, understandably, is a community that has very strong opinions, historically around the issue of vaccinations.”

Recent data shows people who identified as White are the majority of those vaccinated at 32.6 percent, followed by Latinx 15.8% percent, and 2.8 percent are Black.

On February 3, Newsom and the Biden administration announced a piolet partnership to open community vaccination centers in Oakland and Los Angeles. (Betti Halsell/L.A. Sentinel)

Newsom recognizes the concept of trust has been broken through a dark past Black Americans have encountered in this nation’s medical system, causing a deep resistance to the vaccination. With this in mind, the governor stated, “We have to meet people where they are.”

The Governor shared the feeling of last year being a heavy and enduring season, various communities have been brought to their lowest means of living. He stated, “We are at a point where there’s truly a bright light at the end of this tunnel—it’s just a few months away, but we are also at the zenith of exhaustion.”

The nation developed racially charged phobias, escalated levels of anger, and exercised radical behavior throughout this pandemic, it has been a massive weight for all levels of government, as they look to carry out their civic duty in serving the public who are in dire need of a remedy.

The governor stated,” When you look at the solution for any problem, you have to start from the bottom, up— in communities, culturally competent in language, and recognize in every way, shape, and form, one size does not fit all.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Cal State LA on Tuesday to mark the opening of a mass COVID-19 vaccination center at the university. (CSULA)

Newsom enlisted the word of the year is humility, there is a new understanding of seeing each other and caring for one another, superseding any social difference that is found in this nation. Newsom reflected on what this pandemic has done to his perspective and the amplified call for a solution in racial inequality.

Governor Newsom stated, “What drives me is what I believe is represented in our values.” The governor reflected on his strategy going into his position 25 months ago, he wanted California to be for all.

He stated, “I feel a deep responsibility and weight to connect to those values and to advance them.” Newsom has the mindset of collaboration and to build a framework that seeks inclusivity in legislation and connection to the people the state government has sworn to protect.

Newsom closed with the following statement, “This year has been humbling, and it has exposed the best and the worst—and its also a year of such profound energy and that energy was manifested in terms of how this nation responded, in some parts, the rest of the world responded like to George Floyd and the energy that we are now placing the issues of equity…”

 

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