SEATTLE – Medical Teams International is pleased to announce that it has been approved by the Washington State Department of Health to begin distributing the COVID-19 vaccine in Washington. The organization’s staff and network of medical volunteers will administer the vaccine, with a focus on reaching communities that are underserved and people lacking health insurance. Longtime Medical Teams’ partner Regence BlueShield, has provided a significant gift to help fund its mobile vaccination clinics. As an extension of this long-standing partnership, the two organizations will work to fill critical gaps in vaccination delivery throughout Washington state.
Medical Teams, a pioneer of mobile medical clinics in the Pacific Northwest, pivoted its operations to combat COVID-19 at its onset, and will now transition to provide mobile vaccination clinics. Medical Teams’ response will focus on serving marginalized populations, including people experiencing homelessness and BIPOC communities.
“We are thankful for this approval and are eager to move forward with vaccine distribution in Washington,” said Cindy Breilh, Executive Director of US Programs for Medical Teams International. “This will enable us to reach many of Washington’s most vulnerable populations with protection from this disease that has disproportionately affected them and their families.”
The generous support of Regence BlueShield will enable the work to scale-up significantly and reach Washingtonians with barriers to access to large-scale vaccination sites. This funding will support an estimated 30 clinics operating on a reservation-only registration system.
“Regence has proudly partnered with Medical Teams over the last two decades to help deliver medical care to vulnerable populations,” said Claire Verity, president of Regence BlueShield. “We are honored to work together, alongside the Washington State Department of Health, to help ensure some of our state’s most underserved communities get access to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
About Regence BlueShield
Regence BlueShield has been serving Washingtonians in select counties for over a century and now provides over 1.2 million people with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/RegenceBlueShieldWA, or twitter.com/regencewa.
About Medical Teams International
Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.