Safe Start Health Check
Campus Community / Science, Technology and Health
January 12, 2021
Image credit: Matt Lipsen/Seattle University
From left, Seattle U President Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ; College of Nursing Dean Kristen Swanson, RN, PhD, FAAN; and Swedish CEO Guy Hudson, MD, MBA, FAAP
The clinic, which opened on Jan. 12, is operated and managed by Swedish, with Seattle University hosting the facility and parking. Both organizations will promote the clinic and support recruitment of non-medical volunteers to help staff it.
The clinic will run four days a week initially, Tuesdays through Thursdays, and Saturdays. Vaccinations will be allocated according to guidance from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
The two institutions worked quickly to bring the clinic to fruition—only two weeks from decision to implementation.
“We’re delighted as a university to host this clinic with Swedish. It’s an amazing thing how we’ve been able to put this together in a partnership over these days,” says President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J, during a news conference on Jan. 16.
“I received an email from Dean (Kristen) Swanson asking about doing this. Within minutes we said, ‘Yes, make it happen,’” says Father Sundborg. “Two very professional teams from Swedish and SU got together, looked at facilities, thought through all of the different challenges we would have to put together a clinic. They made it happen and then stood it up.”
He added, “Perhaps this is an example, an invitation, to what can happen in other places as the United States tries to scale up in regard to the distribution of the vaccine that’s so important.”
Father Sundborg notes that the College of Nursing, under the leadership of Dean Kristen Swanson, RN, PhD, FAAN, was instrumental in bringing the collaboration forward. Academically, it will allow nursing faculty and student nurses to administer vaccinations.
“This is a dream come true. Two organizations that are cherished for their mission to serve have come together to do good. And that feels great,” Swanson says. “This is a joyful clinic. This is our chance to see to it that vaccine gets into the arms of our community members.”
Sundborg, Swanson and Swedish CEO Guy Hudson, MD, MBA, FAAP, noted that the decades-long relationship between the two institutions made the clinic a natural partnership.
“This endeavor is in perfect alignment with our mutual commitments to assure equity in access to quality health care and education for members of our community,” says Swanson. “The College of Nursing is particularly proud that Renee Rassilyer-Bomers, ARNP, DNP, a key leader in launching this project, earned her baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing from Seattle U in 2003 and 2016. She models the leadership one might expect of a graduate of our Health Systems Leader Doctor of Nursing Practice program.”
“This clinic will help us reach our goal to vaccinate thousands of workers in Phase 1a that aren’t affiliated with a large health system,” Hudson says. “We’re grateful to our partners at Seattle University who have helped get it set up so we can continue to serve the community.”
Hundreds of volunteers have signed up to assist at the clinic, which from Jan. 12–16 vaccinated 4,800 people. On Jan. 18, the state opened vaccinations for people who are eligible for Phase 1b Tier 1 as well as those in Phase 1a.
According to the Washington Department of Health, under Phase 1b Tier 1, the vaccine is available to anyone 65 and older, and all people 50 and older who also live in a multigenerational household. This is in addition to populations eligible during phase 1A, including health care workers at high risk for COVID-19 infection, first responders, people who live or work in long-term care facilities, and all other workers in health settings who are at risk of COVID-19.
Learn more here.
See a gallery of photos here.
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