Spectrum Health launches curbside vaccinations

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Spectrum Health has 40 operating sites for curbside vaccinations across West Michigan. Courtesy Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health is launching one of the Midwest’s first curbside vaccination programs.

The hospital system previously piloted the program at select locations and now has more than 40 operating sites across West Michigan.

“We wanted to meet patients where they are most comfortable, and for many, that’s right in their vehicle,” said Dr. Rima Shah, vice president and department chief for primary health at Spectrum Health. “There are several benefits to curbside, including no time spent in waiting rooms. We continually remind our patients that whether they choose to see us virtually or in-person, we’re here for you and we’re ready for you.”

This new curbside service is for all ages, including childhood vaccinations, and includes many immunizations, injections and tests, as well as blood pressure checks. The service also is helpful for patients who have mobility challenges.

Mary Zimmerman, immunization program specialist at Spectrum Health, said the program is meant to help families stay on schedule with vaccinations. Because many medical appointments had to be postponed or canceled during the pandemic, many fell behind on routine care.

“There are 16 vaccines available for serious illnesses, all of which are preventable diseases,” Zimmerman said. “In the last two years, we have seen outbreaks in Michigan on measles, mumps and hepatitis A. We are hoping this new service will ease people’s minds and make it easier to keep up on necessary vaccinations.”

Appointments can be scheduled online via My Chart. The scheduler will inform patients to look for designated parking spaces upon arrival. Patients then call the phone number on the sign and registration is completed over the phone. Clinical staff then meets patients at their vehicle, ready to perform the necessary service through the car window.

Spectrum Health already provided hundreds of curbside visits, and most appointments take less than 10 minutes. Hospital leadership is assessing additional services that could safely be provided at the curbside with plans to continue to grow this program.

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