MISSISSIPPI DELTA, June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 100 years after its first Mississippi Health Project, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® (AKA) returned to the Mississippi Delta to host a COVID-19 vaccination outreach program and health event for residents of Mound Bayou and Greenville, MS. Partnering with local healthcare providers Delta Health Centers, Walgreens, and Urgent Primary Care of Clarksdale, the two-day event enabled 330 residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Lack of access to healthcare in rural Mississippi communities has been an ongoing barrier for this segment of America."
"We are extremely pleased that hundreds of people participated in our Alpha Kappa Alpha Mississippi Health Project II. Lack of access to healthcare in rural Mississippi communities has been an ongoing barrier for this segment of America, and that's why the work of our sorority to provide education, access to COVID-19 vaccinations, and other health services is so critical," said Alpha Kappa Alpha International President & CEO Dr. Glenda Glover. "Our partners Delta Health Services, Walgreens, and Urgent and Primary Care of Clarksdale understand the tremendous need and have joined us to offer services in the Mississippi Delta. This historic health initiative is taking place under very different circumstances, but the end results is the same, AKA providing sustainable service to benefit families and possibly change the trajectory of their lives."
Under its international community service program, AKA has been delivering Pop-Up Health Programs since January to increase knowledge and awareness of COVID-19, provide greater access to COVID vaccines, and deliver much-needed support services. The COVID vaccinations took place on June 3rd at Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou, MS, and on June 4th at the Yazoo Mississippi Valley Train Depot and at Walgreens in Greenville, MS. Vaccines were administered on both days at Urgent and Primary Care of Clarksdale.
"Walgreens was proud to partner with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.'s Mississippi Heritage Project II to drive COVID-19 vaccinations at our Greenville, Mississippi location," said Stephen Johnson, Regional Vice President, Western Operations for Walgreens. "Alpha Kappa Alpha made history when it first launched the Mississippi Health Project to provide much-needed health services to low-income families throughout the Mississippi Delta during the Great Depression. We offer our gratitude for their continued focus on service more than 80 years later."
Originally conducted over six consecutive summers in Mississippi in the 1930s, the first AKA Mississippi Health Project was created to provide much-needed healthcare services to Mound Bayou and Greenville residents. The sorority developed a network of members and volunteers to create a mobile health clinic during one of the most challenging periods in American history.
"The return of Alpha Kappa Alpha to the Mississippi Delta to provide free COVID-19 vaccines proved to be another historic moment in the life of the sorority," said Vanessa Rogers-Long, Alpha Kappa Alpha Chair of the Mississippi Health Project II. "The Mississippi Delta, a rural community, remains marginalized and in need of additional supportive health services. In 2021, our International President & CEO Dr. Glenda Glover envisioned a return to provide similar services during the devastating COVID 19 Pandemic. Service is what we do, and we create meaningful community partnerships to make it happen."
Alpha Kappa Alpha's commitment to the Mississippi Delta is one of several pop-up events that have taken place across the country over the last three years. Most of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's traveling health events have included its 3D mobile mammogram unit which provides free mammograms to uninsured women. The mobile mammography unit will travel to Mound Bayou in October 2021 for the second installment of the sorority's two-part series to provide services to residents of the Mississippi Delta.
"Since our founding 113 years ago, Alpha Kappa Alpha has a rich legacy of offering innovative programs that improve the health and welfare of women, men, and children around the world," said International Program Chair Ora Douglass. "During this critical time of a global pandemic, our commitment continues as we provide COVID vaccines. Likewise, our AKA 3D Mammography Mobile Unit has helped save lives by providing free breast cancer screenings."
Alpha Kappa Alpha and the three health partners provided other healthcare services that resulted in 120 glucose and cholesterol tests, 71 HIV tests, 50 eye exams including 31 eye exams for school-aged children. Personal protective equipment was also given to residents in need. Participating residents who were vaccinated received a cash gift card and were entered into a drawing for a 60-inch Smart TV. Activities and giveaways for families with children, high school-bound teens, and college-bound students were also provided.
About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of over 300,000 members in more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Liberia, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea, South Africa, and in the Middle East. Led by International President & CEO, Glenda Glover Ph.D., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, is often hailed as "America's premier Greek-letter organization for African-American women." Visit www.aka1908.com for more information.
About Delta Health Centers
Delta Health Center, the first rural community health center in the nation, currently serves five counties in the Mississippi Delta with 18 community- and school-based health clinic locations. As a Federally Qualified Health Center funded under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, Delta Health Center provides primary care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. While third-party pay sources are accepted, Delta Health Center offers Sliding Fee Discounts based on a scale using the Federal Poverty Guidelines and turns no one away due to inability to pay. Delta Health Center providers specialize in family medicine and primary care, pediatric care, women's health care, oral health care, physical therapy, and behavioral health services.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), a global leader in retail and wholesale pharmacy. As America's most loved pharmacy, health and beauty company, Walgreens purpose is to champion the health and wellbeing of every community in America. Operating more than 9,000 retail locations across America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Walgreens is proud to be a neighborhood health destination serving approximately 8 million customers each day. Walgreens pharmacists play a critical role in the U.S. healthcare system by providing a wide range of pharmacy and healthcare services. To best meet the needs of customers and patients, Walgreens offers a true omnichannel experience, with platforms bringing together physical and digital, supported by the latest technology to deliver high-quality products and services in local communities nationwide.
About Urgent and Primary Care of Clarksdale
Founded by Dr. Mary Williams, the ultimate goal of Urgent & Primary Care of Clarksdale is to change the culture of healthcare and ensure that every last patient has access to the affordable care that they need and the services that they deserve. Urgent & Primary Care of Clarksdale is a healthcare facility (clinic) specializing in medical care for acute and chronic illnesses like the common cold, sinus problems, headaches, diabetes, hypertension and others. In addition, Urgent & Primary Care of Clarksdale provides urgent care, primary care, and family care to service a wide range of patients in need of common services like wellness exams, DOT physicals, and chronic disease management. Nothing is more important than connecting with our patients on a deeper level so that they can rest assured knowing that their local urgent care and primary care center is here to provide exceptional service and exceptional care – all at exceptional prices.
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/alpha-kappa-alpha-two-day-mississippi-health-project-vaccinates-hundreds-against-covid-19-in-mound-bayou-and-greenville-301311943.html
SOURCE Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.