As the COVID-19 vaccine began arriving at California health care facilities in December, Matadors were instrumental in assuring that the first doses were successfully delivered. And students and alumni of CSUN’s health programs will continue to play key roles as more and more community members are eligible for the vaccines.
CSUN Today highlights some of these historic efforts below.
Terri Stratton ’78 (Health Science), MPH ’85 (Public Health)
In Northern California, CSUN alumna Terri Stratton ’78 (Health Science), MPH ’85 (Public Health), the chief executive officer of El Dorado Community Health Centers, is overseeing efforts to vaccinate thousands of individuals in her community. Many of these community members work for hourly wages or are self-employed, meaning if they miss work, they miss paychecks — making it tough to stay home even when they’re sick.
This month, Stratton was finalizing plans to set up drive-through vaccination sites, where community members could drive to a vaccination site, stick their arm out the window and get their shot without getting out of the car.
Read more about Terri Stratton’s efforts to deliver the vaccine in El Dorado County, as well as her efforts to make a difference in some of America’s most challenging public health crises.
CSUN nursing students have also taken part in the historic efforts to deliver the first doses of the vaccine.
The nursing students began volunteering during finals week in December and continued to sign up for shifts in January. In all, approximately 55 CSUN students volunteered to help vaccinate hundreds of people at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and Valley Presbyterian Hospital.
The first doses of the vaccine have gone to health care workers — including doctors, nurses and support staff — who are at greatest risk of exposure to the coronavirus. About a dozen CSUN nursing students also have gotten the vaccine, with more expected to do so in the coming weeks.
“People were cheering the first day we were there at Valley Presbyterian,” said Ariel Dankner, who is starting her fourth and final semester in CSUN’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. “Everyone applauded the first person who got vaccinated. Everyone was taking pictures of themselves getting vaccinated and posting it, encouraging other people to get vaccinated.”
Read more about CSUN nursing students and the COVID-19 vaccine.