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Hartford HealthCare teams up with Connecticut Sun in vaccine event for kids

BL: Emily Flamme


Basketball and vaccines may not appear to be a likely combination, but Hartford HealthCare took a shot and partnered with the WNBA Connecticut Sun in an event hosted at the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford on Feb. 19.

The Hartford Boys and Girls Club told Hartford HealthCare that it wanted to partner in a vaccine event that focused on kids.

“We have been supporters of the Boys and Girls Club for a long time and have been really excited about this expansion into the southend of Hartford,” said Sarah Lewis, Vice President for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Hartford HealthCare.

The event started with the vaccine clinic where anyone over the age of 12 could get a COVID-19 vaccine for free. Then, the kids were able to ask questions to the experts there.

“The kids were sitting right there in the front row like little like reporters, it was really fantastic,” Lewis said. “They’re the ones who are going to make the most difference in their families and in their school communities because their peers are going to listen to them, right? Their cousins are going to listen to them.”

Hartford HealthCare Senior System Director of Infection Prevention Keith Grant was also a panelist at the event.

“Regarding vaccines, there were some really good questions,” Grant said. “There were some genuine concerns and it was good to get everyone together to just have that communication. It was good. The kids loved it.”

After the vaccine portion, there was a basketball clinic with the Connecticut Sun, where the kids played with the team. Lewis said the kids loved the event.

“The kids in the gym playing basketball, participating in the clinic, it was a lot of cool energy,” Lewis said.

Grant said that this event shouldn’t just be considered a COVID-19 event.

“I think the most important piece of it is working with the community clearly in their area, and there’s nothing more than helping kids having fun, right?” Grant said.

In the future, Hartford HealthCare plans on doing more events with the Boys and Girls Club, a natural extension of the promise to be: Better than Normal. Lewis said that the team loves being able to be involved with kids in the local community.

“There’s every sort of opportunity whether we’re just talking about the importance of physical activity and social emotional development that comes with being with our peers and we’re so happy to just be in contact with them about all those opportunities,” Lewis said.