Providing Remarkable Care and Flu Vaccines to Those in Transitional Housing

Mercy Health Heartside Health Center colleague Jen Amos administers a flu shot to Joe, a current resident at Mel Trotter Ministries.

When you think of a typical flu clinic, you may envision it hosted in a community hall or a doctor’s office.

But for people who are currently residing in three transitional housing facilities in Grand Rapids, the staff of Mercy Health Heartside Health Center come to them to provide influenza vaccination clinics. Partnering with local schools of nursing, University of Detroit Mercy and Calvin College, each fall Heartside colleagues provide free flu vaccines to dozens of residents at Exodus Place, Degage Ministries and Mel Trotter Ministries. This proactive approach ensures that these residents who face additional barriers, like reliable transportation or access to health care, can still receive an annual flu vaccine.

“We just love getting out in the community and meeting patients where they live,” said Jen Amos, LPN, clinical lead at Mercy Health Heartside Health Center. “The annual flu clinic gives us a chance to not only provide them with a flu shot, but it also gives us a chance to assist those in transitional housing with other health care needs.”

A provider from Heartside is on hand during each flu clinic to answer questions the residents may have. Other Heartside colleagues, like the client service coordinators, Mindy Farrish and Salman Shafi, help with financial assistance and help connect residents to needed services and resources.

The practice of onsite flu clinics at Degage Ministries, Exodus Place and Mel Trotter has been a long-standing tradition, dating back several years.

“It’s really great to help with this community need,” said Amos. “Helping this patient population is truly at the heart of our mission, and it lets our community know we care about them.”

Make sure to get your flu shot this year by visiting your primary care office or your pharmacy. To help support the great work of Mercy Health Heartside Health Center, please visit

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