Abundant aging. It’s a vision we hold for everyone we encounter through United Church Homes. The health and safety of our residents and staff is a pillar of abundant aging, as it has always been, and we are proud to shine a bright light of hope as we head into 2021.
We are excited to share that the first COVID-19 vaccine clinics for United Church Homes took place the week of Christmas at Trinity Community at Fairborn, and Harmar Place, in Marietta. United Church Homes is included in the first phase of the vaccine rollout in Ohio through its pharmacy partner, Omnicare. The vaccine is prioritized for healthcare workers and people who are most at-risk, including residents in skilled nursing and assisted living. Immunization has already begun and will continue through the first quarter of the new year.
Our leadership teams have been steadfast in their pursuit of this incredible opportunity. While it may not have been easy, we are so grateful that our UCH family (residents, staff, and those that contract with us, such as therapists) will soon be protected.
“After all we’ve experienced in 2020, I can honestly say this feels like the best day of the year at United Church Homes,” said Terry Spitznagel, UCH Senior Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, who was one of the first recipients of the vaccine. “We have been eagerly awaiting this event for months and are so thrilled to be able to offer the vaccine to our residents and staff in the first phase of the vaccine rollout. We strongly believe the COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective weapon available right now to protect residents and staff and halt the spread of COVID-19, especially for vulnerable older adults.”
UCH held an informative virtual video session for all families in mid-December with Medical Director, Dr. Daniel Cannone and Patti Klingel, Executive Director of Compliance and Clinical Services. More than 200 participants joined us online to learn about the vaccine’s safety and hear how the vaccine clinics would work at UCH communities.
“UCH is partnering with CVS Pharmacy/Omnicare, who we know and trust, to administer vaccines at our communities in a temporary clinic environment. These pharmacies have been providing vaccines for close to a decade and are already well prepared with supplies, training and staff for the clinics,” said Dr. Cannone.
The COVID-19 vaccination is a two-shot process. Individuals will receive the first vaccine in December or January and a booster approximately two to three weeks later. Clinics will be held for both assisted living and independent living residents.“Due to the double-dose nature of this vaccine, we will offer these vaccine clinics three times in each community to accommodate those that are unable to receive it during the first clinic,” said Klingel. “We want to ensure everyone who wants to get vaccinated gets both doses in the required timeframe.”
All of the research, studies and data continue to show the benefits of getting the vaccine far outweigh the dangers of a COVID-19 infection, especially for older adults and high-risk individuals. “This year has shown us that the health and safety of our family of residents, our trusted staff, and our dedicated partners mean more to us than anything, and we at UCH are taking the extra steps necessary to protect everyone,” said Spitznagel.