A little over a month into its COVID-19 vaccination program, Catholic Health has delivered first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to more than 10,000 individuals, including nearly 7,000 of its associates and medical providers and more than 3,000 community providers. In addition, as part of the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program, Walgreens pharmacists have vaccinated more than 300 residents and staff on site at four Catholic Health nursing homes.
“This is the first of what we hope will be many milestones for our system and community,” said Heather Loomis, director of acute care operations for Catholic Health. “The team worked incredibly hard to develop and staff our vaccine PODs (points of dispensing), which will provide us with a framework as we look to expand vaccinations to our patients and other members of our community.”
Catholic Health has also administered second doses of the vaccine to more than 3,000 associates, relying heavily on its new Epic Electronic Health Record (EHR) and MyChart patient portal to record vaccinations, schedule appointments, and send reminders for second doses.
“MyChart has been an invaluable tool to help us manage the vaccination process from start to finish,” Loomis added. “It’s also a great tool for patients, putting their medical records and health information at their fingertips.”
Jacqueline Pawlak, RN, nursing unit coordinator, ICU, received the first vaccination at MSM.
Catholic Health currently has nine vaccination PODS in Erie and Niagara Counties: five at its hospital locations for associate and providers on its medical staff, and four at its primary care centers for local EMS workers and other community medical providers. The four primary care center PODS are preparing to expand to other priority community groups in the coming days.
“We understand how eager members of our community are to receive the vaccine and we ask them to be patient as we continue to build the infrastructure and processes to vaccinate everyone in the most efficient and equitable way possible,” Loomis said. “We thank all our caregivers who have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic to serve our community. We feel honored, blessed and hopeful to be part of the solution that will bring brighter days ahead.”