Wire Article By Cary Clack, San Antonio Express-News
A few weeks ago, two teachers who’d once worked together crossed paths in a local Costco. It had been more than 20 years, but even behind their masks, the two women recognized each other. Their conversation quickly turned to COVID-19, with one expressing frustration that she’d been unable to get her 101-year-old mother vaccinated. Her friend told her about the COVID Community Outreach Program, or CCOP, the grassroots effort to register the vulnerable and underserved for vaccinations.
The program began with Black women doing what Black women have always done: Identify a problem, then organize to solve it for the benefit of people beyond those in their communities. The impetus for CCOP came the last weekend of January when two sisters, Francine Prosser-Johnson and Bonnie Prosser Elder, tried to help a friend’s mother get an appointment. Over the weekend, the two dialed, repeatedly, on four cell phones and one landline. On Sunday, after more than 2,000 attempts, Bonnie, General Counsel and Senior Vice President with VIA Metropolitan Transit got through.
Also, in January, the offices of South Texas Center for Pediatric Care, where Fran is Chief Operating Officer and Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks is President, were getting frequent calls asking if it was offering vaccinations. The calls the sisters were making and the calls the center was receiving, underscored how desperately people wanted to be vaccinated. It also got Bonnie and Fran thinking about the many African American seniors they knew who hadn’t been vaccinated.
Read the full story on how Francine and Bonnie helped make the COVID-19 vaccine a reality for seniors and how our own Beverly Watts Davis contributed to their mission, click here!