Thousands Receive COVID-19 Vaccine as Heritage Valley Continues Community Vaccination Efforts
Saturdays have been busy on the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) campus as Heritage Valley Health System completed two large COVID-19 vaccination events, administering more than 3,000 vaccines to Phase 1A individuals on March 6 and 13. These large volume COVID-19 vaccination clinics represent just part of Heritage Valley’s community vaccination effort as weekday clinics are held in Robinson Township, at the former Heritage Valley location next to Staples, as well as the CCBC Dome.
Heritage Valley Health System partnered with CCBC at the end of January to initiate the community vaccination clinics. Through these efforts, Heritage Valley has administered 33,414 doses of vaccine with more than 12,400 individuals fully vaccinated (receiving the two required doses).
Vaccination slots for community clinics continue to fill rapidly as Heritage Valley is actively scheduling those ages 65 and older. On Monday, March 22, Heritage Valley will begin scheduling established patients ages 50 – 64 who have registered with high-risk conditions and encourages those in this group who have yet to register, to do so. Already, more than 4,700 individuals with high-risk conditions have registered to be on the waiting list.
“While we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made so far, there’s still a long way to go to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine, receives one,” said Norm Mitry, President and CEO, Heritage Valley Health System. “From now through May 31, Heritage Valley has vaccination clinics scheduled every weekday, 97 in total, as well as four additional large-scale Saturday vaccine clinics at the CCBC Dome.”
The dates for the large first-dose vaccine clinics are April 10 and 17 and May 15 and 29 at the CCBC Dome. Individuals must be scheduled to obtain a vaccine.
Maintaining this ambitious schedule is only possible with help. More than 200 volunteers, including Heritage Valley employees and retirees, community members, nursing students and many others, have assisted with the community vaccination clinics.
“The workforce of volunteers has been instrumental in ensuring that the vaccination clinics run seamlessly,” said Laurie Clemens, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Heritage Valley Health System. “The volunteers perform a variety of roles from greeting and checking-in individuals to administering vaccines. They have also been essential in scheduling patients who do not have access to a computer.”
To date, Heritage Valley has received nearly 90,000 registrations for the COVID-19 vaccine, mainly through the Health System’s automated scheduling tool available on the Heritage Valley website.
Anticipating the community’s desire for the vaccine, Heritage Valley’s information technology department developed the online registration tool to gather information of those interested in receiving the vaccine and provide a method to schedule both vaccine doses at that same time. The first two vaccines approved for use by the FDA, from Pfizer and Moderna, require two vaccinations administered weeks apart.
“We knew that distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to the community could present some logistical challenges; therefore, we developed the automated tool early to provide an organized method of registering and scheduling those in the Phase 1A group,” said Jon Zagorski, Chief Information Officer, Heritage Valley Health System.
Individuals on the Heritage Valley COVID-19 vaccine registration list are notified to schedule a date, time, and location to receive the vaccine as doses become available.
“As a community health system, Heritage Valley’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of all people in the communities we serve. Providing this crucial service of administering the COVID-19 vaccine to our friends, family and neighbors is what Heritage Valley is meant to do,” added Mr. Mitry.
To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, go to www.heritagevalley.org or call 724.770.7555. For the latest vaccine information, individuals can subscribe to Heritage Valley’s E-Connections or visit the Health System’s website, www.heritagevalley.org.
About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System is a $535 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with 3,800 employees and more than 600 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its three hospitals: Heritage Valley Sewickley, Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Kennedy; in 55 physician offices; and more than 21 community satellite facilities. For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.