Bridges Clinic to offer vaccines for Portlanders in need

The collaborative student-run clinic receives support from Immunize Oregon

On Nov. 7 and 14, the student-run Bridges Collaborative Care Clinic will provide flu and hepatitis A vaccines for houseless Portlanders, thanks to the vision of clinic volunteers that resulted in support from Immunize Oregon.

From left, medical students Rachel Lockard, board president of Bridges clinic, and Francesca Andronic, who wrote a successful grant to fund vaccines.

Medical student Francesca Andronic, M.D. Class of 2022, and other clinic volunteers saw an urgent need for flu vaccines among patrons of the clinic, which offers basic health services and primary care coordination several days a month in partnership with Transition Projects, a non-profit specializing in transitional housing for Portlanders experiencing homelessness. Flu can be particularly devastating for individuals who face the challenges of staying warm and managing illnesses with limited resources. Flu vaccines are a simple and effective way to reduce the chance of contracting the virus.

Andronic wrote a grant that convinced Immunize Oregon to provide the clinic with 80 flu vaccines, and she worked with the Oregon Health Authority to secure a donation of 30 Hepatitis A vaccines.

The vaccines will be provided at the two November clinics through a collaboration between OHSU medical, dental and nursing students who will administer the vaccines. Barry Taylor, D.M.D., assistant professor of restorative dentistry, OHSU School of Dentistry, and student Landis Kwong are leading the organizing efforts in the dental school, and Beth Doyle D.N.P., R.N., clinical assistant professor of nursing, OHSU School of Nursing, is organizing student volunteers in the nursing school.

The vaccines will be provided free of charge on a first-come first-served basis. To add a little fun to the event, popular local ice cream shop Fifty Licks is donating ice cream for people who receive the vaccine.

“It has been inspiring to see how many people have come together to support this important outreach,” Andronic said. “It all started from a single grant application, then morphed into a beautiful collaboration between Transition Projects, Bridges clinic, Richmond Clinic, Immunize Oregon, and the Oregon Health Authority. We are very excited to integrate students from both the School of Nursing and the School of Dentistry for this unique inter-professional opportunity!”

Bridges Collaborative Care Clinic, which opened in September of 2017, is holding its annual benefit gala Saturday, Oct. 26, 6 p.m. at the Robertson Life Sciences Building. Don’t miss this opportunity to support our students’ outstanding care and services to people in need.