Gun Lake Tribe donation funds Allegan County mobile vaccination unit

A donation from the Gun Lake Tribe is funding a new mobile vaccination unit in Allegan County.

The Allegan County Health Department is planning to first use the mobile clinic for COVID-19 vaccine clinics for vulnerable groups that have a harder time accessing currently available clinics, says ACHD Health Officer Angelique Joynes, MPH, RN.

The Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant mobile unit contains two exam rooms, a lab with a medical refrigerator, a waiting area, and a restroom. It will provide additional ways for community members to access public health services in their community. 

Transportation a barrier

“We are thankful for the funds Gun Lake Tribe donated to make this mobile clinic a reality for Allegan County,” says Joynes. “Transportation has been identified as a barrier in our Community Needs Assessment for getting care. This mobile clinic allows us to bring our services to our Allegan County communities.”

The mobile unit contains two exam rooms, a lab with a medical refrigerator, a waiting area, and a restroom.Officials say, after the pandemic, they plan to use the van to continue to help take medical services to people unable to travel, as well as for flu vaccinations and community outreach programs.

In October, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) donated $225,000 to Allegan County to help provide vaccinations for the county’s most vulnerable residents, those who have trouble accessing clinics.

CARES Act funds

The funds were part of $500,000 the tribe distributed between local schools and the county to provide assistance in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eleven local schools received $25,000 each, while Allegan County received $225,000 to purchase a mobile vaccination unit that will provide area residents with a COVID-19 vaccine, once they are eligible.

The donations came from the tribe’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, awarded through the federal CARES Act.   

On March 17, the Allegan County Health Department (ACHD) and the Gun Lake Tribe held a Donation Ceremony to unveil the new unit at the Gun Lake Tribe Public Safety building in Shelbyville. 

“The Gun Lake Tribe is honored to make this donation and continue our longstanding partnership with our friends in the Allegan County government,” says Chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe Bob Peters. “Together, we will continue to make a meaningful impact on the lives of our respective citizens.”

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.