President Barry M. Maloney honored four members of the Worcester State community during a ceremony marking the closing of the large-scale vaccination clinic in the Competition Gym of the Wellness Center on Thursday, June 10. The clinic closed after 18 weeks and more than 83,000 vaccinations due to a decrease in demand and a change in strategy for reaching those who remain unvaccinated.
Maloney recalled a column in the Boston Globe, written by UMass President Marty Meehan and UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins, M.D., that proposed forming a corps of volunteers to get Massachusetts residents vaccinated efficiently.
“Worcester State offered its location, Saint Vincent Hospital supervised the vaccine administration, and Commonwealth Medicine organized a Herculean corps of volunteers, many of whom are here with us this evening,” said Maloney. “Were it not for you, our devoted volunteer corps who gave thousands of hours of their time and service, Massachusetts would not be among the leading states in the nation with 70 percent of its population fully vaccinated.”
Maloney recognized Conference and Event Services Director Michael McKenna and Staff Assistant Bridget Caroll; Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences Linda Larrivee, ’76, M.S. ’80, Ph.D.; and student volunteer Caitlyn Despres for their work at making the clinic a success.
McKenna and Carroll were honored for mastering the logistics of creating and maintaining the clinic over the course of 18 weeks.
“Putting together a large-scale vaccination clinic from a higher education point of view is not something we do on a regular basis. They put together, on the fly, a functional clinic in our 15,000 square foot Competition Gym,” said Maloney. He noted that once a week their staff set up and took down 150 chairs, 50 tables, 50 stanchions and 15 charging stations used by clinic staff. “Not to mention working above and beyond the typical work day to ensure deliveries were received, banners were hung and time to meet with other clients to ensure they had the same level of service.”
Larrivee was honored for leadership and dedication in “working with our nursing students to ensure they had a meaningful practicum placement. Her unwavering support of our nursing students, program, and alumni was remarkable,” said Maloney.
Depres was recognized for her 86 hours of volunteer work, more than any other student or employee.
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