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Princeville Safety Net Health Care Clinic Plans COVID Vaccinations

Courtesy of James Unzicker, CHP of IL via Side Effects Public Media / NPR

A rural Peoria County health care provider hopes to soon offer a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for the surrounding community.

The Community Health Partnership of Illinois operates a federally qualified health center in Princeville. It specifically caters to the rural communities in Peoria and neighboring counties - including the large population of migrant farm workers throughout the region.

"We've been here in the community offering [COVID] testing, and we hear loud and clear that we are needed in the community," CHP CEO Eleace Sawyers said. "Again, we are the safety net provider for rural and underserved and uninsured. So it makes sense to be in Princeville, and the surrounding communities."

Sawyers says a vaccination clinic for 350 to 500 people is in the works. Exact details are still in the works, but she said it's planned for the next month or so. Those who wish to apply to a vaccine waitlist can call the Princeville location. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

"We're taking registrations right now for those interested," Sawyers said. "Most likely, it will be Moderna. There might be some opportunity for Johnson & Johnson."

The first CHP COVID vaccine clinic was hosted in Mendota on March 15.

The Princeville clinic opened last August, making it CHP's newest location. They also operate in Champaign, Mendota, Harvard, Aurora, and Kankakee.

Beyond COVID services, the Princeville location also employs a nurse practitioner, as well as a doctor on location one night a week. Community health workers and health navigators are also available for assistance. Basic primary care, lab screenings, school physicals, and other services are also offered.

Sawyers said there are also plans to fulfill another unmet need for many in the Princeville region: dental care.

"Our phones are ringing off the hook for dental services, more than anything else," she said.

There are plans to bring a mobile medical dental unit to the town starting this summer, Sawyers added.

The clinic is open Mondays through Fridays. Check their website for hours and more information.

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