More than 100 Koreatown Seniors and Community Members Received Vaccines Today at the Karsh Center
LOS ANGELES – The Annenberg Foundation and Wallis Annenberg GenSpace, in partnership with the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, announced today that more than 100 older adults and community members were vaccinated at a pop-up clinic hosted at the Karsh Family Social Service Center in Koreatown.
“It’s very important that the hardest hit by this crushing pandemic aren’t the last to be vaccinated,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President, and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “We have to do more to make sure that the vulnerable, the isolated, and the elderly get vaccines quickly and safely, so they can rebuild their lives. This is where philanthropy can step in and help bridge the gaps. We’re all in this together—and with a little help and a lot of heart, we can all get out of it together too.”
In Koreatown, only 42% of residents ages 65 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to affluent communities in L.A., which are reporting that at least 75% of older adults have been vaccinated. The priority for this partnership was to ensure that the vaccine is administered to those at greatest risk and focused on seniors and other eligible caregivers and family members. At opening, the vaccination clinic attracted a line of Koreatown community members eager to receive their vaccination.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Annenberg Foundation, the L.A. Fire Department Foundation, and the Wallis Annenberg GenSpace on this community clinic,” said Lila Guirguis, Executive Director of the Karsh Center. “Today we vaccinated members of the Koreatown community who are over age 65 and primarily housebound. We’ve seen a tremendous response this morning and are happy to fill this need in our community.”
“It was so great to be with the Koreatown community today and meet some of L.A.’s older Angelenos,” said Jennifer Wong, Executive Director, Wallis Annenberg GenSpace. “We were thrilled to create an age and language friendly site with the Karsh Center. Their longstanding support in Koreatown helped make today a huge success. We are looking forward to serving older adults in the community when GenSpace opens later this year.”
The Annenberg Foundation is also partnering with Kedren Health and the Shared Harvest Foundation to support vaccine sites for L.A.’s underserved communities and seniors. The partnership, which includes generous contributions from the Wasserman Foundation, Hilton Foundation, and Weingart Foundation, will help fund and staff:
- A vaccine megasite at Los Angeles Southwest College that will be administered by the L.A. Fire Department Foundation
- A mobile vaccination unit for Kedren Health in South Los Angeles. Kedren has delivered over 20,000 vaccines to community members and is one of the only public walk-up vaccination points of distribution in Los Angeles County. The mobile unit will help Kedren reach community members who may face challenges such as limited/no Internet access, lack of transportation, and/or no cell phone.
- Stand-up vaccination sites in South L.A. where the Shared Harvest program myCOVIDMD™ has been administering vaccines.
“We need more vaccines, more hands to administer them, and more resources and funding,” said Dr. Jerry Abraham, Director of KEDREN Vaccines. “This generous support from the Annenberg Foundation will dramatically expand KEDREN’s mission to equitably deliver these life saving vaccines into the arms of LA’s most vulnerable populations.”
“Thanks to support from the Annenberg Foundation and its community partners, the LAFD will be able to aggressively expand the reach of its vaccination efforts,” said Liz Lin, President of the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation. “Together, we’re bringing help and hope to neighborhoods in need and making a life-saving difference in the communities we serve.”
Los Angeles County has recorded more than 1.9 million COVID cases with nearly 21,800 deaths. Black and Latinx communities, as well as older Angelenos, have been hit disproportionately harder than the rest of the population with both COVID cases and fatalities, and vaccines have not been as available to these communities.
“Communities of color have been disproportionately harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now at risk of being left behind in the vaccine rollout plans,” said Dr. NanaEfua Afoh-Manin, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Shared Harvest Foundation. “We are excited to have the Annenberg Foundation support our ongoing efforts at achieving health equity. We will continue to utilize our network of Community Health Navigators to pre-screen and register residents in the communities most impacted so that no one who needs and desires to be vaccinated is left behind. We’re truly in this together.”
ABOUT THE ANNENBERG FOUNDATION
The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation focused on addressing the critical issues of our time through innovation, community, compassion, and communications for more than 30 years. Since 1989, it has funded programs in education and youth development; civic and community life; equity and social justice; health and human services; animal services and the environment; and arts, culture and humanities.
ABOUT KARSH FAMILY SOCIAL SERVICE CENTER
The Karsh Center offers an array of cross-sector, integrated, and co-located social services. Through the Karsh Center, Wilshire Boulevard Temple and local organizations work together to offer comprehensive resources to the surrounding community in an easily accessible and culturally appropriate manner. The Center seeks to meet the needs of all clients and help them achieve success in their lives, building a stronger community and stronger families in the process.
ABOUT WALLIS ANNENBERG GENSPACE
The vision of Wallis Annenberg, GenSpace is a new community space for older adults that emphasizes wellness, connection, and lifelong learning through innovative programs, partnerships, and a new national dialogue. Based in LA’s Koreatown—one of the most dense and culturally diverse neighborhoods in the United States—GenSpace is dedicated to forging new relationships and creative expression through green spaces, technology, art, and horticultural therapy. Programming will begin with virtual offerings in summer 2021, followed by the space’s official opening this winter.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT FOUNDATION
The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation supports the LAFD in protecting life, property, and the environment by providing essential equipment, training, and public outreach programs to supplement city resources.
ABOUT KEDREN HEALTH
Kedren’s vision is to eliminate health disparities for children, youth, adults, and families in South Los Angeles by creating access to care irrespective of one’s ability to pay. Kedren is committed to promoting well-being by enhancing the quality of life through best practices in healthcare delivery.
ABOUT SHARED HARVEST FOUNDATION
Shared Harvest Foundation was launched by three mission-driven, community-centered physicians who witnessed the negative physical and mental consequences that carrying debt has on borrowers. Their goal is to help combat the stressors of carrying student loan debt by encouraging people to re-focus, re-energize, and re-invest in building stronger communities. Their initiative, myCOVIDMD™, safely connects residents to resources in real time by real people (no bots!). Rapid COVID-19 tests are provided at “pop-up” testing location sites that are deeply rooted in the communities that have been most devastated by the pandemic.