HAMC Named COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador

For immediate release                                                                                                                 April 28, 2021
 
 
Heart of America Medical Center Reaches Goal of Vaccinating 75 Percent of Staff
and Recognized as COVID-19 Vaccination Ambassador
 
Rugby, North Dakota – Heart of America Medical Center announced today that more than 75 percent of all staff members have received the COVID-19 vaccine. The benchmark is part of a nationwide goal set by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and LeadingAge to vaccinate 75 percent of the approximately 1.5 million nursing home staff by June 30, 2021.
“We are proud to report that our facility has vaccinated 75 percent of our staff,” said Erik Christenson, CEO.
“Our caregivers recognize that getting vaccinated is one of the most effective ways to protect themselves and our residents against this deadly virus. Since day one of the pandemic, they have worked day and night to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe and now we have hope that the end is near. We are seeing a drastic decline of positive COVID cases and deaths, which indicates that the vaccines are working.”
 
Long-term care staff were placed first in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because of their essential role in fighting this pandemic. Vaccinating all long-term care staff will help protect them from getting sick and protect residents who are at risk for severe illness. Early protection of staff is critical to preserve a facility’s capacity to care for residents. In addition, staff can serve as role models in their communities. By getting vaccinated first, they can positively influence the vaccination decisions of coworkers, residents, friends and family.
 
Great Plains Quality Innovation Network has recognized HAMC as a COVID-19 Vaccination Ambassador. The Great Plains QIN was enlisted by CMS to help increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in North Dakota and South Dakota.
 
“Kudos to the team at HAMC for your efforts to ensure residents are protected by encouraging and promoting vaccination among your staff. It is critical for healthcare professionals to be confident in dispelling myths and addressing questions from residents and staff who may be hesitant to receive the vaccine,” stated Michelle Lauckner, DNP, RN, RAC-CT; North Dakota Great Plains QIN Nursing Home Lead.
 
“While we remain optimistic, our work does not stop here. The virus is still a very real threat and we must continue to do all that we can to protect our seniors and frontline caregivers,” added Christenson. “We will continue to encourage vaccinations, as well as follow all safety guidelines such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and conducting regular testing. With the help of our communities and the public health sector, we are confident we will come out on the other side of the pandemic.” 
 
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Great Plains Quality Innovation Network is the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization for North Dakota and South Dakota.