a group of health care workers in masks are around a table as they prepare to administer COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 - December 29, 2020

Making History – Vaccine Clinics Come to Goodwin House

by Lindsay Hutter, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer

We will make history today.

Two colleagues greeted one another with these five words on Tuesday, December 29 at Goodwin House Alexandria. I had the honor of watching them share this moment as we all started our day, a day that was very important to everyone.

This one simple sentence expressed a turning point that we all welcomed after months of enduring challenges. It also expressed the enthusiasm we were all feeling as our first COVID-19 vaccine clinic was about to get underway. Only one thing even comes close to matching the level of enthusiasm we all felt in this moment—the incredible dedication these coworkers have demonstrated throughout the year.

Before we parted ways, these colleagues shared another personal detail with me. Both women with families at home, they each commented that their children told them over breakfast that they were proud that their mothers would be getting vaccinated.

All this occurred in an instant around 9 a.m., and the day only got better from there.

What Came Next

About an hour after this special moment, I was in the lobby to be part of the welcome committee. Several of us gathered to greet our special guests for the day – the CVS vaccine team. They arrived at 10 a.m., ready to work and full of positive energy.

Over the course of the day and well into the evening, this team of health care professionals vaccinated 378 individuals—a mix of residents and staff. Every step of the way, they expressed warmth and concern for each person they vaccinated. It was remarkable. And through it all, they didn’t miss a beat. They had to wade through hundreds of consent forms, insurance cards and more as they administered the vaccine to each of us.

First to Get Their Dose

A moment that will stand out to me as I think back on this day is one that came as the CVS team got started. Their first stop was in our Memory Support household—Stonebrook. I watched members of the vaccine team speak with kindness and respect to residents as they vaccinated them. These residents are all older adults with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia that can compromise their ability to process new information or deal with the unknown or unexpected. I observed a team of caring individuals who handled each situation and resident with utmost grace, dignity and respect.

Stronger, Together

For many reasons, we can become saddened and disheartened about the current state of our nation. Yet today gave me nothing but hope. My colleagues this morning reminded me of what we have shared together this year. We have never been stronger as a Goodwin House family – residents, staff, Goodwin House at Home members and patients we have served through Home Health and Hospice.

What’s more, the CVS vaccination team who served us at Goodwin House Alexandria made me realize our family extends even further. This team signified that our nation is united in beating COVID-19. Tomorrow, this same CVS vaccine team will return to us to vaccinate hundreds of residents and staff at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads. I am grateful for their energy and their respect of older adults.

As for my colleagues who expressed their enthusiasm and pride for “making history” as we were vaccinated, I encourage them to think about the history they made before today, before the arrival of the vaccine.

These Goodwin House colleagues have been making history since this pandemic began. They have been serving and protecting thousands of older adults from this tenacious pandemic. They have been faithful to serve every day for 10 months in the fight against a vicious, invisible virus.

They have been making history every day, not just on vaccination day.

Anyone can show up to get vaccinated. The true heroes are those who show up and serve day after day for long months before the vaccination arrives to save the day.

Update: As of Thursday, December 31, approximately 700 members of the Goodwin House family received their first dose of the vaccine. These individuals were residents and staff. We look forward to our second clinics in January, when these individuals will receive their second dose. Thanks to the bravery of everyone who is involved in this process, we start 2021 with a sense of newfound hope and promise.

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Lindsay Hutter is the daughter of a mother and father who survived the Great Depression, World War II and the loss of family and friends. Throughout their lives, they unfailingly chose to construct rather than destruct and to leave people and places better than they found them. Lindsay strives to follow in her parents’ footsteps. Since 2017, she has served as Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer for Goodwin House Incorporated.

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