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CEO Of Saint Joseph’s Health System Discusses Mercy Care’s COVID-19 Testing, Vaccination Efforts

Tom Andrews, CEO of Saint Joseph's Health System, joins "Closer Look" to discuss Mercy Care's response during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tom Andrews, CEO of Saint Joseph's Health System, joins "Closer Look" to discuss Mercy Care's response during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The CEO of Saint Joseph’s Health System says Mercy Care has administered nearly 8,000 COVID-19 tests over the last 12 months.

Tom Andrews says the 35-year-old nonprofit that offers outreach programs and several other services — including medical, vision and dental care to metro Atlanta’s unsheltered population — was approached by Fulton County last April to launch a massive testing effort.

“We tested in over 24 different locations, and those were shelters or with homeless service providers who provide services to the unsheltered population,” said Andrews on Thursday’s edition of “Closer Look.”

During the virtual conversation, Andrews praised his staff’s work ethic and spiritual focus and talked with show host Rose Scott about how the health care provider, which is made up of 12 brick-and-mortar clinics and several mobile medical clinics, had to pivot daily to respond to the public health emergency.

Andrews said Mercy Care, like many health care providers, had to figure out how to host mass testing and vaccine events.

“I think there’s a lot of lessons learned,” Andrews said.

Recently, Mercy Care shifted slightly from its in-person testing efforts to tackle COVID-19 vaccinations.

“As far as the vaccine, we pushed out over 3,000 doses so far, and we’ve vaccinated over 1,500 are fully vaccinated, and another 800 are waiting for the second dose,” said Andrews.

Andrews says he’s thankful for the support from the city of Atlanta and Atlanta’s philanthropic community.

“I think there was a phenomenal effort here in Atlanta to respond to this vulnerable population,” said Andrews.

To listen to the full conversation, click the audio player above.