INGLEWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Western Dental & Orthodontics, one of the nation’s leaders in accessible, affordable oral healthcare, the NFL Alumni Association-Southern California Chapter and Water and Power Community Credit Union have teamed up with Walgreens to provide free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, flu shots and COVID-19 antigen testing ahead of the big game.
The community event featuring NFL alumni – including former Los Angeles Rams players – and giveaways will take place February 12 in Inglewood, less than a mile from SoFi Stadium.
In Los Angeles County, vaccination rates in vulnerable communities – such as South and South-Central LA, East LA and parts of the San Fernando Valley – lag as much as 30% behind the vaccination rates of more affluent areas. This collaboration aims to help close this gap and bring vaccination and testing resources directly to some of the county’s hardest-hit communities.
“These resources come at a crucial time in the pandemic,” said Edwin Rivera, Senior Vice President of External Engagement, Western Dental. “Though vaccines have been available to the public for nearly a year, not all areas have had equal access to them. We are happy to be a partner in expanding access to both initial vaccinations and booster shots via this event.”
Western Dental’s Chief Dental Officer, Dr. John Luther, emphasized the importance of providing these resources to the Inglewood community. “Some communities simply haven’t had convenient locations to get vaccinated or boosted, and this initiative aims to bring the opportunity to patients and meet them where they are,” said Luther.
The event will take place from 11 AM to 3 PM on February 12 in the parking lot of the Western Dental office located at 3561 W. Century Blvd in Inglewood. This location was chosen in part due to its proximity – both in time and geography – to the big game taking place at SoFi Stadium on February 13. NFL Alumni, many of whom will be coming into town for the game, will be on-site to support the vaccination initiative.
“This is an ideal partnership to further our efforts to support and safeguard the health of the Southern California community,” said James Washington, President of the NFL Alumni Association, Southern California. “We’re glad to support a vaccination event like this – particularly one that prioritizes vulnerable community members.”
With the Omicron variant of the coronavirus causing more breakthrough infections in vaccinated persons than previous variants, COVID-19 testing has re-emerged as one of the most important methods for controlling community transmission. Ray Gonzalez PA-C, a physician from MVP Family Practice and Sports Medicine, will be on-site at the event to administer COVID-19 rapid antigen tests with same-day results.
“Community events like these are crucial in curbing the spread of COVID-19,” said Gonzalez. “Testing is one of the most important tools we have to limit community transmission, particularly ahead of the game, where folks will be eating, drinking and mingling in larger groups than normal.”
The vaccines, which include COVID-19 booster and pediatric doses, as well as flu shots, will be administered by Walgreens’ licensed pharmacists in a designated vaccination area to protect the health of attendees who are not yet fully inoculated.
“We are proud to join forces with our event partners to bring these much-needed vaccine doses to the Inglewood community,” said Hector Perez, Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations, Los Angeles for Walgreens. “Making getting vaccinated as easy as possible for our community members is crucial to stopping the spread.”
Water and Power Community Credit Union will be on-hand to support the initiative and provide financial education materials to assist community members with everyday banking products and services. Its booth will also feature a raffle where attendees can enter to win a free tailgate basket for the game.
“As a community credit union, we understand the importance of meeting residents where they are to meet community needs and make lives better,” said Celeste Zibelli, Vice-President of Marketing and Financial Services, Water and Power Community Credit Union. “We appreciate the opportunity to engage with our community members on this level.”
ABOUT WESTERN DENTAL
Founded with the purpose of making oral healthcare accessible for all, Western Dental (with its supported affiliates, including Brident Dental & Orthodontics and Vital Smiles) has been expanding access and equity of oral healthcare for nearly 120 years. Operating in the most connected system of oral healthcare in the nation, Western Dental serves 3 million patients annually across 354 offices in California, Texas, Arizona, Alabama and Nevada. A full-service “dental home,” Western Dental provides general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, implants and oral surgery in its offices, designed to provide consistent, high-quality care that meets the needs of its diverse patient population. To learn more about Western Dental or inquire about an office in your community, visit www.westerndental.com or call 1-800-6-DENTAL.
ABOUT THE NFL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER
The NFL Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967 and composed of former National Football League (NFL) players, coaches, team staff members and associate members who work voluntarily to raise funds for youth-oriented causes and engage in hands-on service to foster the development of "youth through sports and sports through youth.”
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is included in the United States segment of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities. As America’s most loved pharmacy, health and beauty company, Walgreens' purpose is to champion the health and well-being of every community in America. Operating nearly 9,000 retail locations across America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Walgreens is proud to be a neighborhood health destination serving approximately 9 million customers each day. Walgreens pharmacists play a critical role in the U.S. healthcare system by providing a wide range of pharmacy and healthcare services. To best meet the needs of customers and patients, Walgreens offers a true omnichannel experience, with fully integrated physical and digital platforms supported by the latest technology to deliver high-quality products and services in local communities nationwide.
ABOUT COMMUNITY WATER AND POWER CREDIT UNION
Water and Power Community Credit Union (WPCCU), headquartered in Los Angeles, is committed to human-centered banking. WPCCU was formed in 1936 by a group of employees of the Department of Water and Power in downtown Los Angeles. All people who live, work or go to school in Los Angeles and San Bernardino County can open an account. Currently, assets are $950 million with over 40,000 members. For more information, visit wpccu.org or call 800-300-9728.