YORK---York Hospital’s search for a spacious location to hold an ongoing vaccination center for at least the next six months is over thanks to the parish community at St. Christopher Church, located on 4 Barrell Lane in York.
“We were approached by the town and the local hospital to provide a large space for inoculation efforts, and the parish hall at St. Christopher was perfect for their needs,” said Denis Lafreniere, the director of property management for the Diocese of Portland. “The bishop was very supportive as was Fr. Scott Mower, the pastor of the Parish of the Ascension of the Lord (of which St. Christopher is a part).”
Last week, Bill Green, the business coordinator for the parish, led hospital officials on a tour of the parish hall.
“They were impressed by the facility and thought it was exactly what they needed,” he said.
“The vaccination process is not like getting a COVID-19 test where you can schedule a drive-thru appointment,” said Erich Fogg, the director of walk-in services for York Hospital. “For instance, with the vaccination, each person has to stay for a 15-minute observation period, and having a space where that is possible was necessary.”
The parish nor the diocese will receive any profit for hosting the vaccination center, which plans to offer at least 400 daily vaccinations on Mondays through Fridays. The first clinic was held at the location on Monday, February 8.
“We’re always committed to helping and providing for the community in any way that we can, particularly in a public health crisis,” said Fr. Mower.
York Hospital is now offering online and telephone vaccine appointment registration for Maine residents, age 70 and over. For more information or to register, visit the hospital’s vaccine website at www.yorkhospital.com/vaccines for reservation instructions as well as updates and information. Interested parties can also call (207) 752-8685 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Serving the community is at the very heart of the diocesan mission, not just in times of crisis, but throughout history.
“It is amazing to observe the dedicated commitment shown by our clergy, parish staffs, and volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure our churches and our many important ministries such as food pantries and soup kitchens would carry on,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “They met the moment generously by answering the call given to each of us: to share God’s love and mercy with those we encounter to preserve the common good. Hosting the vaccination center is another example of striving where we can to help make the lives of others better.”