Written in collaboration with Drs. Nancy McNamara, Meredith Whiteside, and Kerri Yoshiyama.
On October 23rd, 112 influenza vaccines were administered to staff, faculty, and students by our third-year optometry students, which exceeded our goal of delivering 100 vaccines! A big thank you to Drs. Meredith Whiteside and Kerri Yoshiyama, who worked for months to get the appropriate approvals, systems, and storage conditions in place to make the clinic happen. They also provided the curricular content and training of our third-year students on vaccination. We are also thankful to Drs. Angela Shahbazian, Kuniyoshi Kanai, and Anne Tasaki for taking part in the clinic operations.
Dr. Shahbazian improved our students’ training and helped prepare the right materials needed on the day of the clinic. For example, she recruited Dr. McCabe (West Oakland pharmacist who has trained other pharmacists how to run vaccination programs). Dr. McCabe came to our Opt200E lab to provide technical expertise and to oversee the students practicing IM injections of sterile, injectable saline on each other. Dr. S also got a starting template for the vaccination consent and release form from Dr. McCabe. Finally, since she recently took the pharmacy course on how to perform vaccinations, Dr. S was a great asset in making sure that everything was compliant with current vaccinations standards.
Dr. Kanai also was also avid about ensuring our students were well prepared for vaccination day. He was one of the first people to arrive, gathered the supplies, did a lot of the set up in the rooms and literally did some of the heavy lifting in terms of setting up and then cleaning up at the end of the day. Although Dr. Anne Tasaki is not part of the Opt200E faculty, she voluntarily took a day off from working at Kaiser to take part in our vaccination clinic. We really appreciate her lending her time and expertise to our vaccination effort.
The success of the clinic is largely due to support from our staff: Clinic Administrator Liz Doty; Patient Services Supervisors Carmen Miranda, Sandra Pena, and Julie Gallardo; Sherrell Gordon and the facilities team (Cliff Lobberegt, Taylor Andrews, and Michael Guardado); and IT Administrator Philip Weekly. Liz worked with Dr. Yoshiyama for the past several months, learned how to use the MyTurn system, ordered supplies, coordinated with facilities, checked patients in and out, and drafted forms for documentation. Carmen, Sandra, and Julie ensured that all the staff were pre-appointed, and they tracked/organized all the clinic staff (patient services, billing, IT, Eyewear Center) to help things run smoothly.
Sherrell and the facilities team (Cliff, Taylor, and Michael) helped with signage and provided extra facilities support and clean up. Philip ensured all IT needs and security including setting up the card scanners so they had a fast and easy way of verifying people as they checked in. He also ensured that the rooms used for the clinic could access the necessary websites and could be whitelisted on our firewall. We are grateful to our student volunteers, who administered the vaccines, and made history as part of their educational journey; as well as the school community who signed up to be vaccinated and supported our students in their education.
Our first ever vaccination clinic has provided a precedent for the clinic to expand offerings to patients in the community, as well as the possibility for our clinic to expand into additional vaccines. Stay tuned for next year’s clinic!