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Springfield Vax Force to Hold COVID-19 Town Hall

Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris will join with the Vax Force Committee to host a COVID-19 Town Hall virtual meeting on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 6:00 – 8:00 pm.


The Springfield Vax Force Committee will provide credible COVID-19 resources to the citizens of Springfield using science, data, and information to guide decision-making and explain the vaccination process, in layman’s terms.  The committee will explain how the vaccine is effective and the best practices to use after being vaccinated.  In addition, the Vax Force will help to debunk the myths about the vaccine and clarify rumors and misinformation.  The Vax Force will also help examine the distrust of vaccines within marginalized groups within the community.


The Vax Force Town Hall can be viewed by registering at the following link:


Once the registration is complete, a link will automatically be sent to the email address entered to attend the Town Hall.  In addition, the Town Hall can be viewed on the City of Springfield’s Office of Communications Facebook page at on Focus Springfield’s Community Channel 17.


The Vax Force Committee is comprised of 17 committee members offering expertise in the areas of health clinician data and information, research, education, faith, and diversity, equity and inclusion.  Mayor Domenic J. Sarno serves as the Committee Convener.  Those serving on the Vax Force Committee are:


  • Helen Caulton-Harris, HHS Commissioner and Committee Chairwoman
  • Tom Ashe, Mayor’s Chief of Staff, City of Springfield
  • Elsie Sanchez, Chair, Medical Reserve Corp.
  • Kathleen Szegda, Ph.D., Public Health Institute of Western MA
  • Jeffrey Scavron, M.D., Public Health Council; Brightwood Health Center
  • Andrew Balder, M.D., Mason Square Health Center / HSH
  • Jose Claudio, COO, New North Citizens Council
  • Sarah McAdoo, M.D., UMass Population Health Capstone Director
  • Denise Jordan, Executive Director, Springfield Housing Authority
  • Jeanne Clancy, Public Health Council; Nursing Supervisory Springfield Public Schools
  • Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Baystate Health
  • Melissa Mattison, Pharm.D., Department of Pharmacy Practice, Western New England University
  • Wesley Days, Public Health Council; UMass Springfield
  • Damaris Jones, Tapestry Health System
  • Ashley Bogle, Esq., Health New England
  • Cristina Torres, Ph.D., Caring Health Center
  • Magdalene Eboso, RN, CIC Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator


The Vax Force Town Hall will include remarks from Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris as well as an in-depth explanation on how the COVID-19 vaccine works from medical professionals.  The committee’s discussion will help disseminate information in an effort to increase awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine and the importance of following all of the proper public health and safety guidelines.  The Vax Force committee will provide presentations during the Town Hall.


Mayor Sarno states, “As we continued our overall efforts to defeat this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic – ‘and we will’, I want to thank Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and all the members of the Vax Force for their continued and dedicated efforts in providing this much-needed insight on the COVID-19 vaccine.  Our Vax Force is an assembled group of diverse, respected and trusted individuals within our Springfield community.  They will continue to reassure our Springfield residents by utilizing science, medical, and public health information on the important role the vaccine will play to keep us all healthy.  This recovery and rebounding step is critical in not only defeating COVID-19, but just as important, vital in building concrete public, consumer, and business confidence.  I am very grateful to Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and all committee members, who have agreed to serve and guide our efforts.”


HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “I am grateful and want to thank all of the members of the Vax Force Committee who have agreed to serve.  The taskforce will examine vaccines hesitancy within segments of our population and to explain in terms the general public will understand how the vaccine is effective.”


“Conspiracy theories never solved any medical challenge, vaccines do,” Mayor Sarno added.