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    May 10, 2021

    Media Contact:

    Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536

    Charlie Gischlar, Deputy Director, Media Relations, 443-463-7234 

    Maryland Department of Health and Vaccine Equity Task Force support mobile vaccination clinic at Pimlico 

    Baltimore, MD – Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Jinlene Chan, MDH Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Deputy Director Dr. Mark Martin, and Maryland National Guard Brigadier General and Vaccine Equity Task Force Head Janeen Birckhead today visited a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. 

    The mobile clinic is operated by state partner MedStar Health. The clinic will provide free COVID-19 vaccinations supplied by the Vaccine Equity Task Force to seasonal workers at Pimlico in advance of the 2021 Preakness Stakes horse race, which is scheduled for May 15. 

    “This is a shining example of bringing life-saving vaccines to those individuals in hard to reach areas in the state,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Our intense ground game in bringing vaccines directly to people is a cornerstone of getting this pandemic behind us.”

    “We’re partnering today with MedStar to get the vaccine into the Pimlico community. The staff and the jockeys and those who participate in Preakness understand that this is what getting back to normal looks like,” said Brigadier General Birckhead. “The Vaccine Equity Task Force is providing every outlet and every avenue of approach to get vaccines into arms.”

    (L-R) Dr. Kelly Ryan, DO, MedStar Health and Maryland National Guard and Vaccine Equity Task Force Head Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead at a mobile vaccination clinic at Pimlico Race Course

    “Through Maryland’s GoVAX Mobile program, we are bringing vaccines to any part of the state where they are needed,” said Dr. Chan. “The value of strategic partnerships with organizations such as MedStar Health to take vaccines to the people was highlighted today at Pimlico.”

    MedStar Health, the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force, and the Maryland Department of Health partnered to vaccinate hard-to-reach migrant horse racing workers in advance of the Preakness Stakes 

    “We are thrilled to be able to vaccinate backstretch workers and patients. They are a very hard-working group who care for the horses daily and have had various barriers to receiving vaccines,” said Dr. Kelly Ryan, physician leader on the MedStar Health Horsemen’s Health team. “Many of them are vulnerable due to medical history, age, and living/working conditions. I know how grateful they are for this collaborative effort by MDH, the Vaccine Equity Task Force, and Medstar Health.”
    (L-R) Christina Hughes, MedStar Director of Healthcare System Preparedness; Dr. Kelly Ryan, DO, MedStar Health; Dr. Jinlene Chan; and Dr. Mark Martin

    “State partners are bringing the vaccines into all of our communities,” said Dr. Martin. “No matter how big or small the clinic, we’re working hard together and making sure that everyone who wants the vaccine gets the vaccine.”

    (L-R) Dr. Jinlene Chan, Dr. Mark Martin, Dr. Kelly Ryan, Christina Hughes, and Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead survey the track from the stands at Pimlico Race Course


    The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement. 

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