February 9, 2021

Media contacts:

Charlie Gischlar, Deputy Director, Media Relations, Maryland Department of Health, 443-463-7234

Alexandra Baldi, Executive Assistant, Office of the Secretary, Maryland Department of Aging, 410-767-1102

Maryland Departments of Health and Aging coordinate to bring COVID-19 vaccination clinics into independent living facilities across the state

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Department of Aging (MDOA) have engaged in a joint effort to bring COVID-19 vaccination clinics into independent living and other senior living facilities across the state. Under the guidance of both departments, local agencies on aging will work with communities that aren’t registered in the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program’s Part B to establish vaccination clinics for their residents and staff. 

The first vaccination clinics resulting from the partnership will start this week, with teams from MedStar Health vaccinating residents at Leisure World in Silver Spring as well as Epiphany House and Gallagher Mansion in Baltimore City. Over the next few weeks, the clinics together will provide vaccinations to more than 7,000 Marylanders age 65 and over.

“Making it easier for the state’s aging populations to get vaccinated is a priority for the Maryland Department of Health,” said Acting MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Our partnership with the Maryland Department of Aging allows us to bring vaccination clinics directly to the aging Marylanders who need them.”

“The Maryland Department of Aging’s relationships with local agencies on aging allow us to understand the needs of each independent and senior living community in the state,” said MDOA Secretary Rona E. Kramer. “Highly localized knowledge allows us to organize each clinic around the needs of the community that it serves.”

In the joint memorandum calling for the effort, MDH and MDOA directed the state’s local agencies on aging to prioritize high-density and other independent living facilities with a majority of Marylanders age 65 and over.

To facilitate vaccinations, MDH and MDA are encouraging local agencies on aging to work with independent living communities to establish clinical relationships. When not working with a local health department, communities are encouraged to create partnerships with private organizations, such as MedStar Health.

"Leisure World's residents and I appreciate how state and county government officials, as well as MedStar Health management, have worked with us to bring vaccines to this community," said Leisure World General Manager Kevin Flannery. “For our residents, this is a major step toward a return to normal.”

Visit covidlink.maryland.gov for more information on Maryland’s response to COVID-19. Vaccine and other coronavirus data are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Maryland Department of Aging Secretary Rona Kramer will be available for phone interviews about vaccinating aging populations today from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please contact alexandra.baldi@maryland.gov to schedule. 

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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.

Follow us on Twitter @MDHealthDept and at Facebook.com/MDHealthDept. 

The Maryland Department of Aging helps to establish Maryland as an attractive location for all older adults through vibrant communities and supportive services that offer the opportunity to live healthy and meaningful lives. For more information, visit aging.maryland.gov.

Follow us on Twitter@MarylandAging and at Facebook.com/MarylandAging.​