Contact: Ed Taylor, Director of Strategic Communications 608-663-2333, Lisa Adams, SSM Health, Sr. Communications Consultant, 608-206-5628 (cell), [email protected]
Madison, Wis. (January 28, 2021) – SSM Health believes that a healthcare worker vaccinated is a healthcare worker protected. That includes clinical instructors providing direct health care services. Because clinical faculty and instructors provide in-person, direct health care services they qualify for vaccination under the State’s definition of tier 1A health care workers.
This week, SSM Health began vaccinating clinical instructors from Edgewood College against COVID-19. Coordination and scheduling for the future vaccination of School of Nursing students at Edgewood College is underway. Protecting future healthcare workers is a top priority.
“With so many of our School of Nursing faculty and students serving in direct care roles during this pandemic, this demonstration of partnership by SSM Health is significant,” Margaret Noreuil, Dean of the Henry Predolin School of Nursing, said. “Our students are seeing firsthand the critical role our healthcare professionals play in keeping our communities as safe and healthy as possible.” Dean Noreuil added that some students in the Health Sciences, Child Life, and Marriage and Family Therapy programs will also receive vaccines.
SSM Health began vaccinating its own staff in mid-December as soon as COVID-19 vaccine doses began arriving at its Wisconsin locations. Since that time, the health care system has expanded vaccination efforts to include unaffiliated health care workers, EMS, and public safety agencies. Recently, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services approved adults ages 65 and older as eligible to receive the vaccine. SSM Health began vaccinating this group earlier this week, starting with adults ages 75 and older as they are at a higher risk for serious complications and hospitalization due to COVID-19.
Protecting our communities against the continued spread of COVID-19 is a top priority for SSM Health.
“The cost of COVID-19 on the people and communities we serve has been immense,” says Mo Kharbat, SSM Health Wisconsin Regional VP of Pharmacy Services. “We are honored to partner with the women and men who are training our future nurses to ensure their continued health and protection against COVID-19.”
SSM Health is working with a variety of local organizations, including several local colleges who provide clinical training programs, unaffiliated health care workers, and public safety agencies to distribute vaccine to as many frontline healthcare workers and frontline essential workers as possible, as quickly as possible. We will continue to work with our local and state health officials to vaccinate these high priority groups.
We are honored to be providing the vaccine to our partners in community health. We ask that everyone please continue to be patient as we wait for the vaccine to be more widely available. We expect the vaccine to be available for the general public sometime in the spring or summer.
While we wait, please continue to be vigilant in protecting yourself and others from spreading illness: wear a mask, maintain social distance, practice frequent hand washing, do not gather with people you do not live with, and stay home when you are sick.