Umoja Health Celebrates First Anniversary

Organizers Celebrate 3000 Vaccinations and a Proclamation from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff

By Umoja Health | August 17, 2021

Umoja Health Anniversary

Mayor of Oakland and members of Umoja Health mark the proclamation of August 7, 2021 as Umoja Health Day. From left to right: UCSF School of Medicine Dean Talmadge King, filmmaker Kevin Epps, Libby Schaff, Umoja Health Founder Kim Rhoads, Oakland District 6 Councilmember Loren Taylor, and UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center President Alan Ashworth.

On Saturday, August 7th Umoja Health, in partnership with community and faith-based organizations, celebrated its 1-year anniversary of providing free access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to Oakland’s most impacted neighborhoods serving the Black community. Mayor Libby Schaaf attended the celebration, held at Liberation Park in East Oakland, and presented the Umoja team with an official proclamation commemorating the day, August 7th, as Umoja Health Day in the city of Oakland. 

“We are so appreciative to Mayor Schaaf and all of the city officials who have supported our efforts and assisted in removing barriers to our mission in Oakland.” says Dr. Kim Rhoads, UCSF, Associate Director of Community Engagement for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCSF faculty lead for Umoja Health COVID-19 initiative. “We still have a lot of work to do and will continue to be intentional about going to places Black people will come, whether it is through our pop-up clinics, stationary sites or at home with our new mobile unit.” 

United in Health is part of the UCSF COVID-19 Community Public Health Initiative, which aims to address and improve access to free testing and vaccinations to reduce the spread of COVID in Black communities, which have the highest rates of infection, hospitalization, and death. Umoja Health uses innovative strategies to deliver COVID-19 testing and vaccination through pop-up events, with locations determined by and for the Black / African American community in Alameda County, with a focus on East Oakland which has one of the highest rates of infection and death in the county. Additional efforts are expanding to San Mateo and San Francisco counties. Every week  Umoja Health hosts a community meeting, open to all, to share data in real time, and the community has an opportunity to comment and provide feedback.

In addition to organized pop-up locations, which are announced every week at the community meetings through its network, Umoja has established two East Bay stationary sites, as well as a mobile unit to assist those who cannot travel and are homebound.

Appointments for vaccination and testing can be made by emailing inquiries to [email protected] or by calling the Umoja hotline at 1-888-763-0007.

Stationary Sites for free testing and vaccination

  • Thursdays 10:30AM – 2:30pm at Center of Hope Community Church at 8411 MacArthur Boulevard
  • Fridays 9:30AM – 1:30PM – CHORI (Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute) at 750 Aileen Street

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    • This strategy was first put in place in San Francisco’s Mission District and then in District 10, where it highlighted the need to protect essential workers and helped communities in the Southeast sector gain resources, remove barriers to testing and stop an outbreak of COVID-19.
    • These efforts take advantage of the great need to bring vaccination directly to the Black community in partnership with credible messengers from trusted community based organizations, faith based organizations, elected officials and public health institutions.
    • Funding and Support for this initiative was provided by Kaiser and UCSF School of Medicine.
    • Umoja 2nd Dose Complete Rate 98%
    • Umoja testing & vaccine distribution rate 52% Black / African American