KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Health care workers at Truman Medical Center/University Health spent part of Wednesday talking with area business owners and employees about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. They also answered questions surrounding the vaccine.
"We believe in taking health care outside of the four walls of the hospitals and that is exactly what we are doing," said Hayat Abdullahi, senior director for Community Health Strategies and Innovation at Truman Medical Center/UH.
Abdullahi and her team's mission is to get people vaccinated.
"If they have any questions, just connecting with our community. Going door-to-door, looking at the faces. Getting the information from them and giving the information," Abdullahi said.
The team sought to find out why some business owners and their employees are hesitant to get the vaccine.
"If they are hesitant, why? What can we do to help? Is it scheduling? Is it access?" Abdullahi said.
The group walked along Troost Avenue, as the east side of Kansas City has lower vaccination rates than other parts of the city, which could be due to vaccine hesitancy.
They worked with people like Ruby Jean's Juicery owner Chris Goode to learn how they can help businesses on his street feel comfortable getting the vaccine.
He said he is excited seeing medical experts take this step in helping his community.
"Just allowing our team, our customers to get that next level of knowledge that doesn't come from a social media feed, my cousin, my uncle — but from experts," Goode said.
The hospital is also going the extra mile for business owners. Justin Clark, owner of Urban Cafe, got vaccinated but worried how he would get his employees vaccinated. It's a concern shared by many.
"I called to ask a bunch of questions, like how much did it cost? What did I need to do? Only thing they needed was their name and contact information and they did the rest," Clark said.
The owners who have gotten the vaccine see the shot as a tool to get their businesses booming again.
"You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like the more people that get vaccinated, the better," Clark said.