With a grant for 400 new vaccines, Covered Bridge Healthcare will help St. Joseph County residents
overcome barriers to vaccine access.
“We were shell-shocked,” Covered Bridge Healthcare CEO Rick Shaffer said, after learning they were one
of 22 awardees in the state of Michigan’s community outreach COVID-19 vaccine pilot program. The
Centreville-based clinic was one of more than 70 applicants out of 2,200 eligible facilities.
The vaccines need to be completely distributed in two weeks; Covered Bridge Healthcare will be
reaching out to the county’s homeless residents, migrant workers, large factories and small communities
to offer vaccinations.
Through their mobile medical unit, on clinic days they can even make visits to homebound people who
need the vaccine. For more information, call (269) 467-3228.
Previously, Covered Bridge Healthcare had requested funds from the St, Joseph County Commission to
help with the vaccination effort; with this grant, they will not need to utilize any county funds. St. Joseph
County United Way volunteers will assist Covered Bridge Healthcare in the process.
“Our community partners are everything,” Shaffer said, acknowledging help from the United Way and
the St. Joseph County Human Services Commission in procuring the grant.
They also appreciate the advocacy and partnership of Rebecca Burns, health officer at the Branch-
Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency.
Covered Bridge Healthcare established numerous relationships with community partners during their
fall flu clinics, Shaffer said; these organizations are now contacting them to set up COVID-19 vaccine