(Portland, OR) April 1, 2021 – Medical Teams International is pleased to announce that it has been approved by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to begin distributing the COVID-19 vaccine in Oregon. The organization’s staff and network of medical volunteers will administer the vaccine, with a focus on reaching communities that are underserved and people lacking health insurance. Longtime Medical Teams’ partner, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, has provided a significant gift to help fund its mobile vaccination clinics. As an extension of this long-standing partnership, the two organizations will work to fill critical gaps in vaccination delivery throughout Oregon.
Medical Teams, a pioneer of mobile medical clinics in the Pacific Northwest, pivoted its operations to combat COVID-19 at its onset, and will now transition to provide mobile vaccination clinics. Medical Teams’ response will focus on serving marginalized populations, including people experiencing homelessness and BIPOC communities.
“We are thankful for this approval and are eager to move forward with vaccine distribution in Oregon,” said Cindy Breilh, Executive Director of US Programs for Medical Teams International. “This will enable us to reach many of Oregon’s most vulnerable populations with protection from this disease that has disproportionately affected them and their families.”
The generous support of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon will enable the work to scale-up significantly and reach those Oregonians with barriers to access to large-scale vaccination sites. This funding will support an estimated 20 clinics operating on a reservation-only registration system.
“For over 20 years, Regence has proudly partnered with Medical Teams to bring essential, life-saving care to Oregonians,” said Angela Dowling, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “Together with the Oregon Health Authority, this effort will help ensure that we can get COVID-19 vaccines to some of the most underserved areas and vulnerable people across our state.
About Medical Teams International
Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.
About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, headquartered in Portland, has been serving Oregonians since 1941 and now provides more than 974,000 people with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regencebluecrossblueshield, or twitter.com/regenceoregon.