President Biden praises Springfield hairstylist in vaccine tax credit announcement

President Joe Biden praised a Springfield hairstylist for scheduling community members COVID-19 vaccines in his national speech Wednesday night.

Biden mentioned Patty Young, owner of Young Hair Salon in Springfield and president of Sisters United for Prevention, an organization dedicated to the prevention of cancer in women of color, in his speech announcing tax incentives for businesses who give employees paid leave to get vaccinated.

“Patty Young owns a hair salon in Springfield, Ohio. She’s also so dedicated to getting her customers and employees vaccinated that when they leave the salon, the receptionist helps sign you and your family up to get a COVID vaccine and where to get it,” Biden said. “They have scheduled more than 200 shots. Businesses and supporters like Patty should be supported for doing the right things.”

Young said she was incredibly honored by the recognition and has been flooded with an outpouring of support and calls.

“When Biden says your name it gets a lot of attention. It makes you almost faint honestly,” Young said. “It was such an honor and it’s so nice to hear from everyone.”

In December, Rocking Horse Community Health Center reached out to Young about getting her involved in drumming up interest for the vaccine because of her deep connections within the community.

At that time, Young said she “felt compelled” to help because she “knew too many people that had lost the battle with the virus.”

At first, Young helped by assisting Rocking Horse and the Clark County Combined Health District with setting up contacts with local churches and other community members. But when the vaccine became available to more people, the CCCHD asked Young if she would be willing to help schedule appointments for people of color.

She said she knew she didn’t have the time to schedule appointments but was interested in helping. That’s when she brought her sister, Deborah Woods, onboard.

Woods told the Springfield News-Sun in February she mostly assists those who are elderly and might not have access to the internet or other registration options. She said sometimes the reason people reach out to her instead of going through more technical channels is that they want help from someone they know.

“People calling me because they can’t get through other places. They are getting a busy signal. Or sometimes they just feel like they aren’t being listened to,” Woods said.

Young said she received a call from the White House on Saturday saying she might be recognized in Biden’s speech on Wednesday.

“It just put me on cloud nine,” Young said. “Everybody doesn’t get to hear the president say their name. I’m still floating.”

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