North Kansas City, Mo. – Feb. 1, 2021 - A Clay County coalition formed to vaccinate residents has expanded its footprint. Cerner, a global health care technology company, North Kansas City Hospital, and the City of North Kansas City are now part of Operation Safe, recently founded by Liberty Hospital, Clay County Public Health Center (CCPHC), the cities of Liberty, Gladstone, Smithville, Kearney and Excelsior Springs and William Jewell College. The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services announced today that the two hospitals collectively were named one of 16 high throughput vaccination providers designated by the State of Missouri.
The goal of the expanded “Operation Safe – Vaccinating our Community, Together” is to provide eligible Missouri residents an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible within the state’s tiered structure. Initially, the coalition anticipates vaccinating up to 4,500 individuals every other week and is prepared to increase the volume to 3,500 per day as more vaccines become available.
“We can’t stress it enough; it is important that every eligible person in our community gets vaccinated when the opportunity is available to them. Vaccination is the best way to protect your family from becoming ill and the fastest way for our community to return to the way of life we care so deeply about. Along with continuing to wear masks, keeping physical distance, and washing hands, vaccination is one of the most powerful tools in our toolbox to prevent further spread of COVID-19,” said Gary E. Zaborac, director of public health for Clay County Public Health Center.
This first vaccination clinic will take place Feb. 4, 5 and 6 at the Cerner World Headquarters in North Kansas City, Mo. Key information includes:
• Vaccines will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on designated dates.
• Appointments are required, and walk-up requests will not be accommodated. Individuals who have completed the CCPHC interest form and are prioritized within the current tier will receive invitations to sign up for an appointment in the coming weeks. Invitations will be distributed in the order of form completion.
The four key partners and Clay County cities, which represent nearly 250,000 residents, are committed to supporting the effort at every level. The collaboration leverages Clay County’s networks and capabilities in medical expertise, emergency management and logistics, including IT infrastructure from Cerner to support appointment scheduling and data collection.
“This collaboration speaks to Liberty Hospital’s mission of service and the organizations’ shared goal of safely and quickly vaccinating as many people as possible,” David Feess, Liberty Hospital president and CEO, said. “We are pleased to work with our partners and share resources and expertise to make this happen for our community.”
“It is vital that the community joins together to do our part to beat COVID-19 and support our health care workers as they rapidly rollout the vaccine,” said Eva Karp, Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical and Patient Safety Officer. “Cerner is honored to share our facilities, technology and expertise with North Kansas City Hospital, Liberty Hospital and the Clay County Public Health Center to help those who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine receive it. We have the privilege of bringing knowledge gleaned from supporting global health care organizations and applying it to improve vaccination efforts right here in our local community.”
North Kansas City Hospital President and CEO Stephen Reintjes Sr. M.D. added, “North Kansas City Hospital is grateful and honored to be paired with Liberty Hospital and named a high-throughput provider by the state. This designation allows us to partner with Cerner and Operation Safe partners to set up a state-of-the-art vaccine center to better serve our community. Pooling our resources and expertise will significantly increase vaccinations and reduce the spread. Together, we will fight COVID-19 and win.”
Individuals who live or work in Clay County are encouraged to complete CCPHC’s COVID-19 vaccination interest form at clayhealth.com/covidvaccine. Information provided through this form will allow the coalition to contact individuals when they are eligible to be vaccinated.
To learn who is currently eligible to receive a vaccine or when you may become eligible, visit CCPHC’s website at clayhealth.com/covidvaccine.
In addition to the organizations listed above, Liberty and North Kansas City School Districts and the cities of Claycomo and Pleasant Valley have offered to provide assistance during this massive undertaking. As more vaccine becomes available, additional partners and locations may be announced.