Governor Brown visits Forest Grove Farmer’s Market Mobile Clinic to Applaud County Efforts
Forest Grove, OR — Today, Governor Kate Brown visited the Forest Grove Farmers Market, which is run by the non-profit Adelante Mujeres and is where Washington County operates a weekly mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic. The mobile vaccine clinic is an example of the efforts Washington County has made to reach Latino, Latina, and Latinx communities, as well as other communities of color, with information and access to COVID-19 vaccines. Because of these efforts, the county has vaccinated more than 81% of adults and closed vaccination equity gaps.
When you visit Adelante Mujeres, you meet a team who is diverse, multi-lingual, and representative of the vibrant community they serve. In addition to hosting the Forest Grove Farmers Market mobile vaccine clinic, Adelante Mujeres provides on-site programs in early childhood development, adult education, trauma recovery, small business enterprise, and commercial cooking. They also house Casa Qui, which is an artisanal, women run store. In the middle of the pandemic, Adelante Mujeres has been able to provide vaccination clinics where people live, work, and shop. At the Farmers Market, community members can shop and also get answers to their questions about COVID-19 vaccinations. They have a team of nine promotores, or Spanish speaking community health workers, who focus on being the link between the community and the clinic, helping to answer questions and break down barriers.
Shots in Arms
Washington County is one of the first counties in Oregon to vaccinate more than 80% of its adult residents. The progress on the vaccination front is thanks to organizations like Adelante Mujeres helping to distribute vaccines fairly and equitably in a county where the Black and Latinx populations have lower vaccination rates compared to other groups. In fact, fewer than 60% of adults who identify as Black or Latinx have received a vaccination. Yet, 75% of the people vaccinated at Washington County mobile clinics identify as people of color.
The county mobile vaccination team is at the Forest Grove Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Aloha Farmers Market on Thursdays, and in Tualatin and Hillsboro on Fridays. The vaccination team travels Tuesday through Saturday to bring the vaccine to communities to make it convenient for them. You can find their schedule at www.co.washington.or.us/vaccine OR www.co.washington.or.us/vacuna.
On the Tour
This month, Governor Kate Brown toured the Forest Grove Farmers Market vaccine clinic to speak to clinic staff and learn about how they are working to close equity gaps in vaccine distribution. At the clinic, Governor Brown spoke with Adelante Mujeres leadership and staff, Washington County Board of Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington, local public health and elected officials, health care workers administering vaccines, and patients who had just received their first dose. The Governor heard about the strategies that led to the success of Washington County’s vaccination efforts and the work of Adelante Mujeres. Rosario Echeverria, one of Adelante’s prometoras, explained how they provide help through the whole vaccination process, from texting people about their appointment to explaining the differences between the different types of vaccines.
My passion is to serve and be here for them. We are able to empower patients through trust, confidence, and connection. We then can work with the county to provide feedback and continue to break down barriers.Rosario Echeverria
Governor Brown met with Shannon Alfaro and her 12-year-old daughter, who came to get vaccinated to support her mom. Shannon had just received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and her daughter had received the Pfizer vaccine. Shannon is a teacher and comes in daily contact with kids.
If everybody is getting it [the vaccine], I might as well get it. I work in education. We were told we had to. But, I also did it for those who don’t have beds in the hospital, for my community.Shannon Alfaro
Governor Brown then visited Adelante’s on-site early childhood development program, the commercial kitchen, and the Casa Qui women-run artisan shop. The Governor finished her tour by visiting with the workers in the vaccine registration booth, which is outside of the Adelante building. She listened to what the prometores would want to be able to do their jobs better. Their biggest request? T-shirts, so the community can more easily find them at the busy Farmers Market.
Overall, Governor Brown remarked of her visit, “Vaccination is our path out of this pandemic. Community partnerships like the one between Washington County and Adelante Mujeres are key to increasing vaccination rates and closing vaccination equity gaps for our Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and communities of color. I’d like to thank Chair Harrington, everyone at Washington County Public Health, and Adelante Mujeres for the opportunity to see their extraordinary work firsthand. They are proof that, when we work together and reach people where they are in our communities, we can stop the spread of COVID-19.”