Daily Times (Primos, PA)
Vaccinated senior living residents help with clinic
Residents of The Highlands of Wyomissing know how it feels to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They now want to help the community experience those same feelings.
The continuing care retirement community and West Reading’s Esterbrook
Pharmacy have partnered together to host community vaccination clinics at The Highlands for those currently eligible as part of the state’s Phase 1A group. The most recent two-day clinic started Monday and will continue Tuesday with the goal of vaccinating up to 1,300 community members with the Pfizer vaccine.
Including this week’s clinic, Kevin DeAcosta, president and CEO of The
Highlands at Wyomissing, said they will be close to having administered 3,000 doses of vaccine through the clinics so far.
Residents give back
Running a smooth and efficient clinic, particularly with COVID safety precautions in place, requires many moving parts and a number of staff and volunteers. In addition to pharmacy and The Highlands staff members, community residents have volunteered their time to help with the clinics.
“Living here at The Highlands
has been a gift, during this entire pandemic,” said Pat Gernert, 88. “The Highlands is a gift which fills us with gratitude because they kept us in a bubble of safety. It’s the gift they gave us to keep us safe and then when the vaccine became available it filled us with gratitude again.”
Gernert said the vaccine has given her more freedom as she feels safer going out again, such as going into the drug store or using the drive-thru at her bank. She now wants to give that same freedom to others.
“I’m volunteering now,
it’s what you do, giving back,” she said. “There’s many ways to give back. You give back with your hands. You can give back with your checkbook. You can give back with your mind. It’s giving back, you live to give.”
Gernert volunteered at the second dose scheduling station during Monday’s clinic. There she helped attendees schedule their second dose appointments, set three weeks from now at The Highlands at the same time they received their first dose. At the table, she had the chance to speak
with attendees while filling out their vaccine cards.
“This is wonderful and I’m meeting lovely people here,” she said. “People are so full of gratitude.”
Fellow resident Carol Duchynski, 78, was also at the second dose scheduling station. Duchynski has a history of volunteering and enjoys helping in whatever way she can with any project.
“I think this is a really worthy cause, and I’m very happy to do it,” she said. “It’s been very rewarding. People are so gracious and