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Broughton community center plays host to vaccine clinic

Retired Nurse Practitioner Marie Ralston administers the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine against coronavirus to Sharon Johnson on Monday at the Broughton community center just outside Marietta on Ohio 821. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

Volunteers were at the heart of the clinic Monday at the Broughton’s community center on Ohio 821.

First, an appointment for a time slot was confirmed in the parking lot driveway headed towards the community building.

Early birds arriving for their appointment were asked to wait in their cars until five minutes before their scheduled appointment.

Then volunteers wearing rain gear directed them where to park closer to the community building, or where, on the left-hand side to pull up for a curb-side vaccine.

For those walking inside the doors on the right, they were greeted by another volunteer checking temperatures and then through the double doors to Director of Environmental Health Josh Lane.

Volunteer Coordinator Carol Greening draws from a Pfizer vaccine vial Monday during a Washington County Health Department vaccination clinic. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

“I check them off here on the appointment list, verifying their name and …” he stops explaining to check in the next senior walking through the door.

He takes her driver’s license and she also hands him her insurance card.

“So take all of this information on to the registration table and they’re next going to fill out a vaccine card for you and then they’re going to send you to one of the shot stations,” he explained.

Then he asks her to take both a yellow sheet of paper and her two cards to the registration table.

At two tables for registration, four volunteer women sat checking the insurance and names of appointments.

Washington County Director of Environmental Health Josh Lane explains the registration and vaccination steps to a senior arriving for the Pfizer vaccine Monday at the Broughton community center just outside Marietta on Ohio 821. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

“If they have insurance the insurance is billed a fee,” explained one volunteer between clients.

But no one was charged Monday and no one was turned away for a lack of insurance.

Also handed out by volunteers at the registration table were a set of papers explaining symptoms and frequently asked questions about the Pfizer vaccine distributed Monday.

Next stop: Visiting a shot station with one of the active or retired nurses in the room.

Sharon Johnson, 79, of Marietta, landed at the table of Marie Ralston, a retired nurse practitioner volunteering for the Washington County Health Department throughout the vaccination effort.

By happenstance, the pair recognized each other.

“I think I know you,” said Johnson.

Despite the masks the two recalled hospice patients they’d shared, Johnson as a caregiver and Ralston as a nurse.

But, back to business, a quick prick of the needle and instructions to wait for 15 minutes and return on March 23 for her second dose.

“I didn’t hardly feel a thing,” said Johnson, smiling with her eyes.

See the weekend edition of the Times for a feature on the volunteers who make such vaccination clinics, and other efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, run smoothly.

Health leadership removals

After a public vote to accept the resignation of Marietta-Belpre Health Commissioner Anne Goon on Friday, Marietta’s mayor released a statement Monday stating the departure was “effective immediately.”

Also removed, according to Mayor Josh Schlicher’s press release, was the Director of Nursing Vickie Sawyer.

This is the second director of nursing in of a public health department to see removal in February, this removal is separate from the Washington County Health Board’s dismissal of Director of Nursing Val Betkoski without her attendance at the county’s regular board of health meeting; according to Board President Bruce Kelbaugh, a second special board meeting to review health administrator candidates is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday for the county. The Times is in the process of reviewing provided public records concerning Betkoski’s employment with the county.

Friday, Goon had noted following the joint-city health department’s public vote that the board had 60 days to find her replacement according to Ohio law.

What is not clear from the city’s press release Monday was whether a vote was taken to install Dr. Michael Brockett as the Health Commissioner nor which vote authorized the installation of co-health administrators in the department’s environmental services director and health planning and promotion coordinator.

Schlicher did not return emailed requests for documentation from the Times Friday nor calls for clarification Monday.

***

Moderna Rescheduling:

¯ If you received the Moderna vaccine at the Broughtons complex on Jan. 21 or Jan. 25, your appointment has been rescheduled between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday following winter weather delays last week.

¯ The Washington County Health Department asks that you watch for email notifications and a volunteer phone call to complete the rescheduling as close to the original appointment time as available.

Note: No personal information will be asked by the health department or its volunteers via email or over the phone.

Source: Regional Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Crystal Earley.

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