The Lehigh Valley Health Network receives some recognition from the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania for their COVID-19 vaccination strategy.
HAP, a Commonwealth-based member service organization and “the leading voice for health and well-being for Pennsylvanians,” included the LVHN’s vaccine strategy as one of their top ten initiatives in the 2022 COVID Response Innovation Awards, according to a hospital network release released April 7.
The award “celebrates innovative teams, solutions or projects that have helped shape the health service’s response to, understanding of, or resilience to COVID-19,” was announced in March and will be presented at the HAP Leadership Summit in May.
The LVHN used a number of plans to promote COVID-19 vaccinations across their coverage area, including 19 drive-through clinics at four locations – such as Long Pond’s Pocono Raceway and Dorney Park in Allentown which led to 57,000 doses distributed.
Pop-up large box vaccine clinics, held in formerly large retail outlets, allowed the network to dispense 36,000 doses a week when the pandemic was at its height. Mobile devices further aided the effort by bringing the vaccine to those who were not also able to travel to hospitals or clinics.
HAP also drew attention to LVHN’s “leading” technology, which helped track vaccine stocks and administrations and to schedule vaccination appointments via the MyLVHN patient portal app.
The health network was also announced to keep in touch with their communities and colleagues about the vaccines by engaging on LVHN Insider and various social media accounts. In particular, the LVHN used these spaces to help promote vaccine efficacy and dispel disinformation that plagued online communities at the time.
Further media engagement and direct encouragement focused on exposing misinformation and encouraging communities to get their shots fired.
“In addition to our tireless efforts to provide exceptional care to patients suffering from COVID infections, the LVHN was passionate about advancing our mission to heal, comfort and nurture by informing and protecting the community we serve,” Dr. Timothy Friel, chairman of the LVHN’s department of medicine, said. “Our comprehensive vaccination initiative and multifaceted education campaigns were the hallmarks of our efforts. I am proud that our efforts actively engaged and inspired our colleagues, saved lives and reduced fears and misinformation throughout the region and beyond.”
Nearly 80 entries were submitted to HAP for the award, and the blinded applications were evaluated by independent judges from across the Commonwealth and the country.
“Pennsylvania hospitals have not only protected the health of their community during this pandemic, but have also been at the forefront of finding innovative solutions to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19,” said Andy Carter, President and CEO of HAP. “These awards recognize the unique health teams that developed creative strategies to meet the needs of their communities and address issues such as vaccine access, racial differences in vaccination, and medical supply chain disruptions.”
Although LVHN has already distributed over 603,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through their facilities, Friel noted that continued efforts will be needed to keep extreme cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to the virus down.
“In addition, we will continue to focus on our important vaccination efforts in the coming weeks and months,” Friel said. “Although we are currently in a much better place, we recognize that the pandemic is not over yet. Our current and future vaccination strategies will remain incredibly important for our efforts to protect our communities, especially those most vulnerable to COVID. -19. “
Although the daily number of cases of COVID-19 appears to be increasing in the Commonwealth recently, deaths and hospitalizations have decreased significantly since the introduction of vaccines: in January 2022, the two-week moving average of COVID patients was hospitalized in the whole of Pennsylvania exceeded 7,100 a day, while on Thursday afternoon only 451 COVID patients were hospitalized.
According to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, 18,960,780 total COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in the state per. April 13.