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SCC Nursing and Allied Health Recognized by St. Charles County for Vaccination Efforts
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, SCC strengthened its relationship with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health by actively participating in the Point of Distribution (POD) mass vaccination clinics. The first mass vaccination clinic and collaborative event between the college and the health department was a flu shot clinic held on SCC’s campus October 7, 2020. It provided a better understanding of what would be necessary to run upcoming COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics.
County coronavirus mass vaccination clinics began in January 2021. For several weeks, Nursing & Allied Health Department faculty, staff and students were called upon to administer vaccinations and support operations at the St. Charles Family Arena. At the March 29 SCC Board of Trustees meeting, SCC-Dardenne Creek Campus Provost Amy Koehler and Nursing Program Director, Jen Bussen were surprised with official recognition by St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann.
Left to Right: Amy Koehler, SCC-Dardenne Creek Campus provost, Steve Ehlmann, St. Charles County executive, and Jen Bussen, SCC nursing program director.
“Jen and I were extremely grateful to be recognized,” said Koehler. “We truly believe it is a part of our responsibility as educators and as healthcare providers to help our community. We are incredibly proud to work at an institution that values community service.”
According to the “Outstanding Service” proclamation, the SCC Nursing & Allied Health Department was “an invaluable asset to the St. Charles County Health Department” regarding vaccinating county residents.
The proclamation added that through seven weeks from January to March, up to 90 percent of the stations at the vaccination clinics held were staffed by SCC Nursing & Allied Health Department faculty, staff and students.
“The St. Charles Community College Allied Health leadership changed their curriculum in the first half of the spring term of clinicals to support the pandemic response,” said Ehlmann. “Student participation wasn’t an option. It was scheduled as part of their clinical education.”
“Our students were able to see what large-scale collaboration looks like,” said Koehler. “They were given the opportunity to practice skills many rarely get to do in their nursing education, and they witnessed how important flexibility is in adapting to an ever-changing environment.”
More than 200 students, 20 faculty members, six alumni and 20 non-medical SCC staff volunteers have assisted the St. Charles County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccination events, with one SCC faculty present for every three students.
“One of the biggest benefits of this partnership,” added Koehler, “is we have now created a relationship with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health that will have unlimited possibilities for the future. It will greatly benefit the education we are able to provide our students and the service we provide our community.”