Oct. 12, 2021-Press Release-GUIDELINES AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOTS BY COMMUNITYCARE
(Austin) – Central Health-affiliated COMMUNITYCARE HEALTH CENTERS announced guidelines and eligibility requirements for COVID-19 booster shots for patients and non-patients who received their second Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, to be eligible for the Pfizer booster shot, individuals must have completed their primary Pfizer vaccine series at least six months ago AND are either:
- 65 years of age and older
- residents of long-term care facilities
- aged 50-64 with an underlying medical condition
- aged 18-49 with an underlying medical condition who want a booster vaccine based on individual assessment of benefit and risk
- aged 18-64 who are in an occupational or institutional setting where the burden of COVID-19 infection and risk of transmission is high (including but not limited to healthcare workers, first responders, and teachers)
Studies have shown that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus, including the delta variant, may decrease over time. COVID-19 vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent severe disease, although data suggest that mild disease may still occur, especially with the delta variant. Based on clinical trial data, a Pfizer booster shot improves protection against COVID-19, including the delta variant.
“We strongly encourage recommended groups who got their second COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago to get a booster shot now,” CommUnityCare CEO Jaeson Fournier said while noting that, “Eligible CommUnityCare patients can schedule their booster shot by calling 512-978-9015 or they can stop by our Rosewood Zaragosa Vaccine Clinic, North Central Health Center, or Southeast Health & Wellness Center to get their booster without an appointment.”
CommUnityCare will also be providing the COVID-19 boosters to anyone from the community who is eligible to receive their COVID-19 Pfizer booster at the walk-in sites mentioned above. Consistent with CDC guidance, CommUnityCare will only be providing the Pfizer booster to people already vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. People in the eligible groups who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine might also see enhanced protection from a booster shot but will need to wait for further study and analysis from the CDC and authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
June 14, 2021-CommUnityCare Health Centers Announces the Hire of Nicholas Yagoda, MD as Chief Medical Officer
It is with distinct pleasure that Central Texas Community Health Centers (dba CommUnityCare) announces Dr. Nicholas Yagoda as our Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
As CMO, Dr. Yagoda is responsible for the overall clinical leadership, provider practice, and overall performance and advancement of a diverse provider group that has the privilege of caring for underserved residents of Austin and its surrounding areas.
Dr. Yagoda joined CommUnityCare in 2014 and throughout his tenure with us has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to strengthening the health and well-being of the patients and families we are so privileged to care for. He currently serves as CommUnityCare’s Associate CMO and has been intimately involved in our response to the coronavirus pandemic and our recent implementation of Epic system-wide. Nick has also been a physician champion with several other initiatives including the continued evolution of our care model and is a demonstrated champion for health equity. Since 2014, Nick has continuously cared for our communities as a family medicine physician with a focus on HIV and addiction medicine. He further helped develop the region’s first treatment program for uninsured people with opioid use disorders and is a founding member of the Fast Track Cities/Getting to Zero Taskforce to end the HIV epidemic in Travis County.
Dr. Yagoda is also an Assistant Professor of Population Health at the University of Texas at Austin – Dell Medical School and his writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals including The Annals of Family Medicine, The Journal of Family Practice, and Nature. He is from Brooklyn, New York, completed his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and his post-graduate training at the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) based Lawrence Family Medicine Residency in northeastern Massachusetts.
June 3, 2021-CommUnityCare Health Centers Announces the Hire of Tara Trower as Chief Strategy Officer
(Austin) – CommUnityCare Health Centers welcomes Tara Trower as their new chief strategy officer (CSO) effective June 14th, 2021. As CSO, Tara will assist CommUnityCare in leading and advancing strategic initiatives and planning efforts, overseeing community engagement and communications, expanding the development and philanthropy footprint, and continuing to foster strong relationships with community partners.
Tara brings more than 20 years of experience in communications and operations and is a highly regarded, data-driven leader. She most recently served as the chief of staff for The University of Texas at Austin’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, where she planned and managed strategic initiatives for a portfolio of 44 operational units and consulted on communications and media relations strategy for several departments. Tara also spent more than 18 years as a journalist, covering education, politics, government, and community issues in Central Texas, most notably as senior editor for opinion and commentary (Viewpoints) for the Austin American-Statesman.