Physician, best-selling author, and TV personality Dr. Ian Smith lends his support to a new National Minority Health Association (NMHA) initiative that aims to increase COVID-19 vaccinations among those living in medically underserved communities.

Flex for Checks is a new, community-based program developed as part of an $11.1 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that seeks to mobilize homecare workers to increase vaccination confidence and vaccination rates in underserved communities as part of the fight against COVID-19.

“The Flex for Checks program is an innovative, necessary, and powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19. I am proud of our nation’s talented community healthcare workers for their courage and the hard work they do as they galvanize our fellow citizens to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Ian Smith. “As the fight against COVID-19 continues, it has become increasingly clear that vaccinations and mask-wearing are our best options for ending the pandemic. The Flex for Checks program is a crucial tool in increasing vaccination rates and vaccine awareness within our communities.”

The HRSA grant is part of the approximately $125 million available through the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) American Rescue Plan to develop and support a community-based workforce. This workforce will serve as a trusted voice sharing information about COVID-19 vaccines, increasing vaccine confidence, and addressing barriers to vaccination for those living in vulnerable and medically underserved communities.

Burgess Harrison, executive director of the NMHA, says, “We are honored to have Dr. Ian Smith lend his talents, support, and expertise to this groundbreaking program. Nothing of this scope, scale, and importance has been undertaken before in the manner where homecare agencies, workers, consumers, pharmacies, and software companies come together and flex their arms in the fight of our lives against COVID-19.”

“I am very proud to be the national medical spokesperson working with the NMHA on such a vital healthcare initiative. Increasing COVID-19 vaccinations within our communities is extremely important to the health of our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors, and to me on a personal level. I urge my followers and the public at large to do your part and talk to your healthcare provider and get vaccinated today! Follow me on social media (see links below) to join and share this endeavor with me. One thing this pandemic has taught us is that all of us are in this together,” said Dr. Smith.

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