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    March 10, 2021

    Media Contacts:

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

    Charles Gischlar, Deputy Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-6491

    PHOTO RELEASE: Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force Conducts Montgomery County Clinic

    GAITHERSBURG, MD—Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Acting Secretary Dennis R. Schrader and Maryland National Guard Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, who also serves as the head of Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force, visited a vaccination site opened today to serve monitory and vulnerable populations in Gaithersburg and greater Montgomery County.

    In partnership with Cross Community, a local faith based organization serving minority and vulnerable populations in Montgomery County, and Holy Cross Hospital, healthcare workers administered first dose COVID-19 vaccinations to 115 Hispanic, black, and other minority and vulnerable populations at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg.

    “Identifying and working with community partners at the grassroots level is a critical part of our increased efforts to vaccinate underserved and vulnerable populations across Maryland,” said Acting Secretary Schrader. “What Pastor Ben Wickner with Cross Community and Holy Cross Hospital are doing here in Gaithersburg is reflective of that. Cross Community registered and made appointments for 115 people and organized volunteers, Holy Cross provided the healthcare workers, we provided the vaccines, and General Birckhead’s team helped connect all these elements.”

    “This clinic is an excellent example of what we are doing with the Equity Task Force,” said General Birckhead. “Together, we are helping overcome challenges that some people are experiencing in getting a vaccine.  We are working with trusted partners, bridging the technology divide, and addressing transportation issues. So far today, everyone has shown up to get their vaccine. We aren’t seeing the hesitancy that we keep hearing about because we are building trust in communities.”

    Cross Community made appointments for residents vaccinated today to receive their second dose vaccination on April 7, 2021.

    General Birckhead, left, Acting Secretary Schrader, third from left, and Mr. Ben Wikner, Pastor Cross Community, at today’s clinic.

    A Holy Cross healthcare worker prepares to vaccinate a woman at a vaccination site opened today to serve minority and vulnerable populations in Montgomery County.


    Holy Cross Hospital healthcare workers administered 115 vaccinations to Montgomery County residents.



    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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