Washington Department of Health starts new ‘Power of Providers’ vaccine initiative

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s something so many of us had been waiting patiently for since the start of this pandemic.

“There was sort of a mad rush for getting the vaccines when they first came out,” said Dr. Deb Wiser, Chief Clinical Officer with CHAS Health.

A rush that started losing its momentum just months later.

“We’ve really run through all of those people who really wanted the vaccine and were proactive about getting the vaccine. We have gotten to the group of people who are a little bit more hesitant,” said Wiser.

It’s hesitancy Dr. Wiser understands.

“There are some areas on social media with misinformation,” she said.

That’s why the Washington State Department of Health started a new program called POP, also known as the Power of Providers. The goal is for primary care physicians to share information about the vaccine with their patients so that they can make an informed decision when it comes to getting their shot.

“Providers can develop a trusting relationship with their patients. Sometimes it just takes having that conversation one on one,” said Wiser.

A conversation Dr. Wiser said can make all the difference.

“They happen to show up on my schedule and they haven’t had the vaccine. We were able to have a heart to heart, get it scheduled for them and we were able to have it done right then and there,” she said.

It starts with providing a welcoming environment.

“People can walk into our clinics whether they’re a CHAS patient or not at any time to initiate the vaccine series and get the follow-up,” said Wiser.

It’s all in an effort to get all of our lives back on track once and for all.

“If we want to truly get to ditching the mask for everybody then there has to be a societal effort to shut it down by getting vaccinated,” Wiser said.