Mayo Clinic and BGC host community discussion on neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine clinics

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Mayo Clinic Health System and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater La Crosse hosted a community discussion Wednesday on barriers to getting everyone a COVID-19 vaccine and how neighborhood vaccine clinics may help.

So far, within La Crosse County, over 40,000 of the residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine. As of two weeks ago, 24.1% were Caucasian, while 10.9%, 11.3%, and 6.8% have been Native American, Asian, and Black, respectively.

A group of community leaders will have a Zoom meeting at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to help the area understand the barriers those communities face when attempting to get a vaccine and help overcome vaccine hesitancy in those populations.

They will also share how neighborhood vaccination clinics like the ones being hosted by the Mayo Clinic Health System and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater La Crosse can help play a role in increasing access and reducing other barriers to receiving COVID vaccines in La Crosse. The free COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be held at the Erickson and Mathy Boys & Girls Clubs on Thursdays April 15 through May 6.

Those taking part in the discussion include:

  • Nao (Tony) Houa Yang, president of the Hmong Center in La Crosse
  • Mark Lockett, Pastor at the Neighborhood City Church in La Crosse
  • Thomas Harris, Assistant Director, Office of Multicultural Student Services, UW-La Crosse
  • Iola Stallings, retired employee and member of Mayo Clinic Health System’s Equity, Inclusion and Diversity committee
  • Dr. Ishan Shah, resident at Mayo Clinic Health System and has done research studies on health disparities in southwest Wisconsin
  • Dr. Caroline Wilker, Internal medicine physician and chair of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity committee, Mayo Clinic Health System