Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff Visits Burlington
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On his first stop, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff visits a vaccination clinic at the Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) to lift up the impact of the Administration’s vaccine efforts, highlight community outreach efforts focused on reaching underserved communities, and underscore the imperative to get vaccinated. He meets with CHCB Chief Medical Officer Dr. Heather Stein, CHCB Nurse Manager Alicia Schwarz, and Grand Isle Volunteer Fire Department Firefighter William “Bill” Baron. Mr. Emhoff learns about the health center’s vaccination efforts and how they are reaching underserved communities, including communities of color and rural communities. Governor Phil Scott (R), Lt. Governor Molly Gray (D), Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT), and Mayor Miro Weinberger join him for this visit.
On his second stop, Mr. Emhoff visits the ONE Community Center in Burlington, Vermont. He meets with Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV) Executive Director Yacouba Bogre, AALV Director of Vaccination Bouchra Lahmeur, and AALV Case Manager Irene Webster to learn more about their creative outreach efforts focused on building vaccine confidence in the community. Frustrated by the amount of misinformation about vaccines being shared in the community, Irene wrote a song about the importance of getting vaccinated. A musical group performs that song during Mr. Emhoff’s visit.
Additional Information about the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV)
AALV was founded as a way for the small African community at that time to get together for social events as well as to discuss the challenges of being in America. Over time, AALV has steadily grown into a small social services agency with full-time staff. In 2009, AALV made a decision to not only serve Africans, but to provide services to all refugees in Vermont including Bhutanese, Burmese, Iraqis, and others. AALV is proud to be able to extend its experience in mutual assistance to newly arrived refugee groups.
During the pandemic, their office was initially closed but has since reopened on a staggered schedule to continue to provide client services. Since vaccinations have become available, AALV has worked with the Vermont Department of Health and other healthcare providers to build vaccine confidence in the community. They worked with the Vermont Multilingual Coronavirus Task Force to create informational YouTube videos in different languages, and have continued to host Zoom video sessions with doctors to share facts about the vaccines and answer questions from community members, with an interpreter to assist with communication.
AALV has also been working on specialized vaccination clinics to reach the communities they serve, including hosting vaccination clinics at local community centers.