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Pop-up vaccination clinics support Hmong community

Vaccinations for all, thanks to the generosity of the Fox Valley community: Steven Vue receives his COVID-19 shot at a pop-up clinic in Appleton last month.

By Long Vue, Executive Director, Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Associations

The Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Associations (WUCMAA) has been advocating for and elevating Hmong and Southeast Asian refugees and citizens for 34 years. Through our staff, volunteers and the collective voices of our members, we continue to create awareness and solutions for the evolving needs of the Hmong and Southeast Asian communities with the goal of developing and sustaining strong resourceful community members that effectively contribute to the social and economic successes of communities throughout Wisconsin.

Pam Her (L) and Long Vue at the vaccination registration table

Most recently, through the generosity of the Community Foundation and United Way Fox Cities, WUCMAA was able to collaborate with Ascension, Red Shoes PR, CAP Services, and Long Cheng Marketplace to provide a pop-up vaccination clinic for the Hmong community in the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin.

Through community dialogue and feedback, it was discovered that many Hmong community members were not getting their COVID-19 vaccinations due to fear of rising anti-Asian hate and barriers such as language, lack of understanding, and transportation.  Thus, through collaborative efforts, a pop-up vaccination clinic was organized for the Hmong community.

In planning for the pop-up clinic, it was vital the clinic was located at a venue the Hmong community was familiar with and where they felt safe and comfortable coming to to get their shots or to stop by and ask questions for deeper understanding of COVID-19 vaccinations.

The clinic was predominantly staffed by Hmong volunteers and bilingual Hmong healthcare providers to ensure that all questions and/or concerns were addressed effectively. The pop-up clinic team vaccinated over 100 Hmong community members on April 24, and there was an outpouring of gratitude expressed by those who received the vaccines, their family members, and general community members shopping at Long Cheng.

More than 100 people received the vaccine at last month’s one-day pop-up clinic at Long Cheng Marketplace in Appleton.

The booster for the pop-clinic is scheduled for May 22 at Long Cheng.  Future events are in the works for something similar to help vaccinate families and students ages 12-17.

In addition to getting their vaccinations, many community members supported the local ethnic vendors/small businesses at Long Cheng Marketplace with the $10 voucher they received. The vendors were elated and welcomed the support, as they have suffered tremendous economic losses during this pandemic as well.

Overall, this was a successful event for the greater community, as a whole, as it continues to chip away at the health equity gap, promotes health and well-being in historically marginalized communities, and contributes to economic viability and sustainability through supporting small BIPOC businesses.

Thank you to all our volunteers, partners and collaborators – it takes a whole community to make a difference and to keep us moving forward in creating welcoming and safe communities for all.

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