Today, December 17, 2020, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital administered the first COVID-19 vaccine dose to hospital colleague Rebecca Kistner, RN, who works on the hospital’s medical/surgical care floor. The first physician to receive the vaccine was Dr. Sheera Lall, an emergency department provider. All of the vaccines were administered smoothly and safely.
The doses were administered to clinical colleagues providing direct patient care, all of who voluntarily consented to receive the vaccine. At this time, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is not requiring its colleagues to receive the vaccination, although they are recommending colleagues receive the vaccine when it is available to them.
These first doses were provided to the hospital by the Jasper County Health Department as St. Anthony’s was the only surrounding hospital in their area that was not in the first round of receiving vaccine shipments this week. Additionally, a number of Jasper County residents are clinical colleagues at the hospital and were the first ones offered to receive these vaccine doses.
Kistner, a Jasper County resident, shared why she wanted to get the vaccine. “This is another way that I can make sure that I stay safe and can keep my patients safe. That is our calling,” she said. “We need to get this started so we can end this virus and go on with our lives. I know I have missed seeing my grandchildren and loved ones.”
HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital will be following the CDC guidelines to determine during which phases their colleagues will receive the vaccine. Locally, they will work closely with the Effingham County Health Department when they receive their doses.
St. Anthony’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Jennings shared, “This is an exciting time for our hospital as we are thrilled to be able to provide an additional level of protection for our colleagues who continue to provide exceptional and compassionate patient care in the midst of this pandemic. It is the first of many steps to come, but the journey begins with one step,” he said. “Our thanks go out to the Jasper County Health Department for providing us with these initial doses. We are grateful to have this a tool in our tool chest to combat this virus.
HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital still encourages people to do their part to decrease the number of COVID cases in the area. “Even though some doses of the vaccine have arrived, and more will be coming, we want to remind the community that the pandemic is not over,” Jennings said. “We must continue to be diligent with hand washing, social distancing, masking and staying home when we are ill. For those who need care, we are always here so we are also encouraging community members to not delay their care.”
Top photo: Rebecca Kistner, RN, from HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital’s medical/surgical care department, receives the first COVID-19 vaccine at St. Anthony’s. Sarah Schumacher, RN, emergency department facilitator, administered the vaccination.
Photo 2: Dr. Sheera Lall, an emergency department physician, was the first physician to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. Sarah Schumacher, RN, emergency department facilitator, administered the vaccination.