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Accessibility to health care should be a universal right

Alicia Colombo

By Najja R. Orr, PCA president and CEO

As a society, we know that medical and preventive care are vital to everyone. Yet for many, disparities in diverse populations can create barriers to accessing health care. Unfortunately, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated these disparities, including access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

As a leading local provider of programs and services that work to enhance the lives of individuals as they age, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) remains a committed advocate for health care access for all in the communities that we serve and beyond. Likewise, PCA is proud to support vaccine accessibility for older Philadelphians.

We believe it is important for those who wish to be vaccinated to have that opportunity, and we have partnered with the Department of Aging’s PACE program to increase accessibility to the COVID-19 vaccine for older adults. With the emergence of new COVID variants, PCA reminds all individuals 60 and older who want to be vaccinated to contact PACE’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-800-424-4351. Working closely with PCA, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s PACE program developed the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline for older Philadelphians. This convenient, toll-free hotline assists older Philadelphians with scheduling vaccine appointments at vaccination sites within Philadelphia County. Older Philadelphians can take advantage of PACE’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline service Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PCA supports the guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccination and disease prevention.

“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

– Constitution of the World Health Organization

In this month’s Milestones newspaper, we bring you the annual health care issue to coincide with Medicare’s Open Enrollment period that begins Oct. 15. As part of our work advocating for health care accessibility, this month’s issue includes a variety of articles focused on recent health-related information.

PCA also provides resources and program information through our Helpline call center at 215-765-9040. We encourage everyone to reach out if you are experiencing barriers to health care access or would like to learn more about PCA’s health and wellness programs that provide information, education, skill building, screenings and support for older adults.

Health care is a vital factor in the quality of one’s life and well-being. PCA will continue to find creative ways to advocate for the underserved among our communities.

Categories: Health


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