Student Group Facilitates Free Flu ShotsSeptember 9, 2020
The flu shot clinic is the result of relationships formed between Walgreens, the Lawrenceville
Co-Op and members of the PCOM Georgia HEARTS Club.
A team of dedicated student-doctors from PCOM Georgia, the state’s only osteopathic medical school, which is located in Suwanee, Georgia, is working with local establishments to offer
free flu shots for uninsured adults. The student-run organization, known as the PCOM
Georgia HEARTS Club, formed in 2019 by Andrew Morrissey (DO ‘23), aims to offer healthcare
services to those who need them most.
The clinic will take place on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon
at the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry. Appointments are available and walk-in
patients will also receive services.
Morrissey said, “As medical students we feel that it is our calling to help those
in need during these difficult times and we have tried our best to do so in the safest
way we can.” He added, “The need for us at PCOM Georgia to support our community has
never been greater. I honestly cannot imagine a better opportunity to show our community,
through leadership and service, that we are committed to their well-being.”
The flu clinic is the result of relationships formed between Walgreens, the Lawrenceville
Co-Op and members of the PCOM Georgia HEARTS Club. With a desire to help the underserved,
Morrissey, originally from Orlando, Florida, and the team plan to expand the clinic
to the Neighborhood Cooperative Ministry located in Norcross.
Tom Balog, executive director of the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, said, “We
are so blessed to be working with the students at PCOM to set up this free flu clinic
to benefit those in need in our community. It truly takes a community coming together
to make a real difference.”
According to Audrey Arona, MD, district health director for the Gwinnett, Newton,
Rockdale Health Department, flu shots are more important than ever this season during
the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is the year to get off the fence and get a flu shot,”
Moon Su Kang (DO ’23), the student logistics manager for the flu clinic whose hometown
is Madison, Alabama, said, “Georgia has one of the lowest influenza vaccination rates
in the country, and it disproportionately affects the uninsured and low income communities.
The goal of the flu clinic is to bring awareness about the influenza virus and to
provide vaccinations to those who are uninsured.”
Understanding this need and following months of research, planning and coordination,
HEARTS Club members developed a questionnaire and surveyed customers of the cooperative
ministries in Lawrenceville and Norcross to determine if they would be willing to
get free flu shots. In addition, they provided educational pamphlets about flu vaccines
to ministry clients. The pamphlets explained the benefits of getting flu vaccines.
With survey results in hand, HEARTS Club members met with Walgreens officials who
agreed to provide the flu shots at no cost to the recipients.
If the first clinic is successful, Morrissey said, Walgreens will provide flu shots
at the Neighborhood Cooperative Ministry in October.
Established in 1995, the Lawrenceville Co-Op works to care for those in need in Lawrenceville
and Dacula by providing food, personal care items and connections to other needed
resources, while the Neighborhood Co-Op serves the needs of at-risk Gwinnett County
residents from Doraville, Norcross, Peachtree Corners and Tucker.
Morrissey said, “There are a lot of services within Atlanta for the underserved, but
there is just as much need for residents within the suburbs of Atlanta.”
Earlier in the year, HEARTS Club members organized a food drive for the Co-Op in Lawrenceville,
soliciting both food and monetary donations from the community.
Kang said, “The free flu clinic will mark our first official club event and we are
grateful to collaborate with such fantastic community partners. We are excited to
build strong lasting connections with our neighbors and provide them with the help
The Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry is located at 52 Gwinnett Drive, Lawrenceville,
30046. To sign up for a flu shot, uninsured Gwinnett residents should visit www.pcomheartsga.org.
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About PCOM Georgia
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.
For more information, contact:
Senior Public Relations Manager
Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell:
Connect with PCOM Georgia