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LMHS Administers First COVID-19 Vaccines to Frontline Healthcare Workers

LMHS Administers First COVID-19 Vaccines to Frontline Healthcare Workers

posted on: 12/23/2020 2:06:33 PM

Lima Memorial Health System reached a pivotal point in the COVID-19 pandemic. A multidisciplinary team of frontline caregivers, including physicians, nurses, laboratory and radiology technologists, respiratory therapists and environmental services team members, received the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, December 23. 

“Today marks a historic moment and much-anticipated turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Michael D. Swick, President and CEO of Lima Memorial Health System. “Our associates have worked tirelessly for the last nine months to provide compassionate, quality care and save lives from this devastating virus. They put the community’s needs and safety above all. I am proud of our team of associates for leading the way throughout this pandemic and setting an example today by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. With this vaccine, our healthcare workers will be better protected, and more lives will be saved.”    

Dr. Jeremy Heffner and Dr. Jason Stienecker led the efforts to develop Lima Memorial’s COVID-19 unit earlier this year. Since then, these physicians, along with their colleagues and a multidisciplinary team of associates, have been caring for patients diagnosed with the virus throughout the entire pandemic.

“This vaccine is the way forward through this pandemic,” stated Dr. Jeremy Heffner, Critical Care Surgeon and Medical Director of Trauma Services. “My goal in publicly receiving this vaccine today is to let the community know, as a physician who has studied the data, I trust the efficacy and safety of this vaccine. I look forward to the day when it’s available to our entire community. This virus has taken a devastating toll on all of us for way too long.”

“This is truly a monumental day for our healthcare team and our community,” stated Dr. Jason Stienecker, Lima Memorial Pulmonologist and Medical Director of Intensive Care. “I think it’s important to show my hospital team members and my community how much I believe in the science and technology that were used to develop this vaccine. We take risks each day when we treat patients with COVID-19, and this vaccine will help to ensure we can care for those patients safely without risking infection ourselves. This is a great day. This is the day we have been waiting for since the COVID-19 pandemic began.”

“This new vaccine offers significant hope for the future,” stated Dr. Dennis Morris, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “However, as the greater Lima region continues to see significant community spread of COVID-19, we must continue wearing face coverings appropriately, practicing hand hygiene, physically distancing at least six feet from others and avoiding large gatherings. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following these safety recommendations will offer the best protection against COVID-19 and begin to heal our community.”

Lima Memorial Health System has been a leader in the region for COVID-19 testing and continues to provide that service to its communities.

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