When Greenwich Hospital opened its Covid-19 vaccination center at Brunswick School in January, the ambitious undertaking was aided by the help and generosity of the community, which has been a stalwart of support over the many months of the pandemic.
From community volunteers to meal donations, the support has been uplifting and impactful.
“We are so fortunate at Greenwich Hospital that our volunteers have been part of the vaccination effort since the beginning. We rely on them to be here to help us. That’s how we are able to optimize our operations. They have made an important contribution to our efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible,” said Jessica Lake, Director of Strategy and Operations at Greenwich Hospital.
Key to the opening of Greenwich Hospital’s vaccination site is the partnership of Brunswick School, which made its expansive Field House gymnasium available for the hospital’s vaccination operations.
“We could not ask for more incredible partners than the Brunswick team. They have done absolutely everything they could do to make sure this effort was successful,” Lake said.
Each day there are upwards of 40 individuals working in four different shifts at the vaccination center, which has the ability to vaccinate up to 1,000 people a day depending on vaccine supply from the state.
Greenwich Hospital’s Director of Volunteers Stacey Green said as the hospital ramped up its vaccination site plans she reached out to her cadre of volunteers. The response was enthusiastic and immediate.
“I let our hospital volunteers know of the need, and within 24 hours I had almost every slot filled with 2 to 3 volunteers every shift, every day of the week,” Green said.
Green added that the community volunteers often express their gratitude for the ability to play a role in this historic moment of the pandemic. During their shifts, volunteer jobs range from directing people to the correct vaccination booths to checking on patients post-vaccination to ensure their comfort and safety.
Both Lake and Green are quick to point out that volunteerism also involves dozens of employees throughout Greenwich Hospital – representing both clinical and non-clinical departments – who are giving their time to fill crucial roles that range from greeting and scheduling visitors, diluting and administering vaccinations, monitoring patients, setting up crucial infrastructure and maintaining the site’s IT necessities.
“Across the board we are seeing people who are incredibly generous representing all areas and disciplines throughout our hospital volunteering to work shifts,” Lake said.
Helping to fuel the efforts of employees and volunteers is the generosity of the greater community, Lake said. Individuals have arranged for and sent meal deliveries to those working at the site.
“Overall the atmosphere has been amazing,” Green said. “It makes you feel really good when you leave after a four-hour shift. People are so happy to be there and have the chance to be vaccinated. Every person that walks out of that building is so thankful. It really is a wonderful feeling.”