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The power of you: Flourishing in a pandemic

At the center of Asante’s vaccination distribution were “hubs” staffed by dedicated pharmacy teams.

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ARRMC hub team, from left: Gina Bonsi, Cassie Mojica Serrano, Kevin Krigbaum and Patty Melson.

As daylight lingers a bit longer and the winter frost retreats, we may wonder: Are we really in this together? How have we at Asante — collectively and individually — shown solidarity during this pandemic?

Our shared purpose in communal caring can be seen in the work of our COVID vaccine redistribution teams. Since last May, inpatient pharmacies at ARRMC and ATRMC have been serving as “hubs,” a central system which sends out Pfizer COVID vaccines to registered “spokes,” including APP clinics, public health facilities, schools and other clinics in Jackson and Josephine counties, which in turn vaccinate the public. At peak season, our COVID hubs transferred enough vaccines to cover more than 1,000 recipients a month, eventually expanding to include teens and children 5 years and older.

Gwen Moscoe, manager, ATRMC Pharmacy

“In early 2021 so many people wanted the vaccine but there were few resources capable of providing it in large quantities,” said Gwen Moscoe, ATRMC Pharmacy manager and a key contributor to Oregon’s improved vaccination status. “Asante in Grants Pass stepped up to the plate and provided a high-throughput vaccine site both days of every weekend.”

By early summer 2021, half of all Grants Pass vaccinations had been done through the center, and all that vaccine passed through Asante Three Rivers Inpatient Pharmacy.

“We’re proud to have been involved in this team effort given maintaining health proactively is always the best way to be a trusted health partner for life — every person, every time!” Gwen added.

Many behind the scenes have also supported the community’s vaccination efforts, including Mishell Minnick, ARRMC Pharmacy technician supervisor. “Our pharmacy clerks have truly challenged themselves beyond their comfort zone to learn the details about redistributing vaccine syringes,” she says. “When we choose health care as our profession, we do whatever we can to help our communities. This pandemic has really shown me our values.”

The marvel of our COVID vaccination hub work is recognized by Oregon Health Authority, which recently awarded Asante a generous grant. To re-prioritize care, the ARRMC inpatient vaccine hub is working closely with OHA to transition vaccine redistribution to an external cold chain company that specializes in regional vaccine deliveries.

Cassie Mojica Serrano, one of our hub leaders, reminds us why we’ve been extraordinary in our unified journey. “We have a great team that has made this possible with little to no experience to overcome such a challenging crisis,” she says. “Everyone’s commitment, patience and understanding of the situation made this doable.”

This graph of COVID-confirmed cases in Oregon (per 100,000) illustrates the importance of the vaccine, particularly during the delta and omicron surges.
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