Community Healthcare Network

Press Release

Community Healthcare Network and Stop the Spread Activate Public-Private Partnerships to Administer 30,000 COVID-19 Vaccines in NYC”


September 30, 2021

Contact: Erin Verrier [email protected]; 917-636-0884

Public-Private Partnership Reaches New York City Communities Hit Hardest by COVID-19, 70% of Individuals Vaccinated Identify as Black or Hispanic

New York, N.Y., September 30, 2021 – Community Healthcare Network (CHN), a network of 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers in New York City, and Stop the Spread (STS), a catalytic organization that has corralled private industry partners for Covid-19 response programs, partnered to increase vaccine uptake in New York City neighborhoods with low vaccination rates.

Stop the Spread brought together a network of over 600 partners and accelerated funding from to bring private sector resources to bear for CHN, a healthcare provider trusted by community- and faith-based organizations in hard-to-reach communities. Together, STS and CHN co-designed and deployed multiple effective vaccine distribution models, and partnered with churches in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx to offer walk-in vaccine clinics and conduct community outreach.

To date, CHN and STS have hosted over 85 community pop-up events with more than 25 community and faith-based partners. Over 30,000 vaccines have been administered through their community focused effort with 70% of vaccine recipients identifying as Black or Hispanic, while city vaccine rates hover at 39% for individuals who identify as Black and 52% for Hispanic/Latino.

In addition, Stop the Spread brought a network of private sector partners to deploy a “Vaccine+” program for additional health care and non-medical services in hard-to-reach neighborhoods. The program, originally launched with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in LA, utilizes the 15-minute observation period following vaccination to connect individuals to a range of services like on-site health screenings for diabetes, cholesterol and HIV, referrals to primary care, mental health, and insurance enrollment services, and basic needs like access to healthy food.

The Vaccine+ program administered over 1,200 meals to vaccinated New Yorkers in partnership with Bento, a text-messaging platform to reduce food insecurity, and Farm to People, a farmer’s market grocery delivery service. A partnership with Headspace also offered a free month of meditation to help manage increased stress and anxiety during the pandemic.

The Vaccine+ program also coordinated over 250 individual health screenings in partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine’s Clinical and Translational Science Center, the Greater New York City Black Nurses Association and CHN’s HIV Prevention Programs. Additional health services, like referrals to primary care services and the NYC Care program, were provided by Public Health Solutions.

Other CHN and STS efforts include the design of a back-pack vaccine model in which a clinical educator and vaccinator are present at sermons and community events with information about the safety of the vaccine and immediate access to vaccination on site as requested. In addition, partnerships with schools are being cultivated to help protect children and their families as they resume in person learning. The organizations are preparing campaigns for third dose COVID-19 vaccines as community members become eligible as well.

“The energy and expertise of Stop the Spread magnified our ability to bring vaccines to underserved communities throughout New York City,” said Robert M. Hayes, President and CEO of Community Healthcare Network.

“Stop the Spread’s mission has always been to bring the capabilities, speed and flexibility of the private sector to pandemic response efforts. Our partnership with Community Healthcare Network has shown that when the private sector and public sectors work together innovation can flourish,” said Sharon Knight, Executive Director of Stop the Spread.

“It is important to understand the communities we serve, meet them where they are and commit to true engagement. This means respecting the community, collaborating as true partners, understanding their fears, concerns and then providing the highest quality of evidence-based care,” said Dr. Freddy Molano, a leader of CHN’s vaccine pop-up efforts and CHN’s Vice President of Infectious Diseases and LGBTQ Programs and Services.

About Community Healthcare Network
Community Healthcare Network is a not-for-profit organization providing access to affordable primary care, dental, nutrition, behavioral health and social services for diverse populations throughout New York City. CHN serves more than 85,000 individuals a year who would otherwise have little or no access to critical healthcare. CHN is composed of 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), including two School Based Health Centers (SBHC), and a fleet of mobile health units. To learn more about CHN visit our website at or follow us on  FacebookTwitter,  YouTube, and Instagram.

About Stop the Spread
Stop the Spread is a COVID-19 relief nonprofit founded in March 2020 to catalyze the private sector and address shortfalls and fill gaps in our nation’s response to the pandemic. To learn more about STS’s work, access the STS Playbook for Community-based Vaccinations for best practices and downloadable tools for planning, co-designing, and implementing community-based models that advance vaccine and health equity.

With thanks to our partners
Weill Cornell MedicineHunter College School of NursingNYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Long Island University School of NursingGreater NYC Black Nurses AssociationChurch of God of East New YorkFort Washington Collegiate ChurchNew Jerusalem Worship CenterConvent Avenue Baptist ChurchPublic Health SolutionsStone Cold SystemsBentoFarm to PeoplemPulseHeadspaceFox Rothschild and many others.

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