EUGENE, Ore.— One year after taking action to protect students and employees from COVID-19 by moving to remote operations, Lane Community College got up close and personal—while masked and gloved—to administer more than 1,800 doses of vaccines to the college community.
“LCC was one of the few community colleges in Oregon to reach out to local public health officials early on,” said Margaret Hamilton, LCC president and a former nurse. “We consulted frequently with Dr. Luedtke and his staff to discuss breaking events, understand CDC recommendations, and develop an appropriate local response.” Hamilton oversaw the establishment of a response team and challenged everyone to do their best work. They did.
LCC Health Clinic Director Laura Greene was on the team. She anticipated a great need for vaccines and enrolled the campus Health Clinic as a vaccine provider in December 2020. Supplies finally arrived on January 29 and clinic staff and volunteers started giving shots. Since then, 15 clinics have been held, administering more than 1,800 doses to health care workers, educators, older adults, people with medical conditions, caregivers, and LCC employees and students.
“I am very grateful to my colleagues and the many dedicated volunteers from C-CERT, Health Professions, and from around the college and community,” Greene said. “Without them, we would not have been able to provide nearly as many doses as we already have.” Greene said Lane County Public Health has been an invaluable partner. “They transferred doses to us and kept us up to date with the latest developments.”
Another key player on the team was Dawn Barth, longtime manager of environmental health and safety for the college. She took on the additional mantle of covid compliance officer. She helped develop protocols, issue communications, track progress, help mobilize the clinics, and more.
The college used its Center for Meeting and Learning to set up clinics. Clinic staff screened patients for contraindications, gave shots, monitored patients for adverse reactions, and documented everything at the end of the day in the clinic’s records and the state immunization registration system.
Vaccine recipients have been thrilled with the service and with LCC. Their tweets and posts have earned the college repeated five-star ratings on LCC’s Google account.
LCC is now preparing for a mostly open fall term. “We are carefully planning a safe return to in-person classes,” said Paul Jarrell, provost and executive vice president and leader of the response team. “We’ve learned a lot from the challenges of the past year, especially the importance of remaining agile and flexible. We will continue to follow recommended protocols and we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, employees, and the community.”
Fall 2021 classes begin September 27.
For more information about Lane Community College:
Lane is an AA/EEO/Veterans/Disabilities Employer
Lane Community College educates over 25,000 students annually at six locations across Lane County and online. Students and alumni from all 50 states and 79 countries create more than an $850 million dollar impact on the local economy, helping to support more than 13,000 local jobs. Lane provides affordable, quality, professional technical and college transfer programs; business development and employee training; academic, language and life skills development; and lifelong personal development and enrichment courses.