Mount Nittany Health leads COVID-19 vaccination efforts

 

Mount Nittany Health is leading the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in our area, having administered almost half of all vaccines in Centre County and celebrating our 30,000th dose given last week.

 

"Mount Nittany Health has not just been a local leader but a model for the state in getting shots in arms and moving us one step closer to ending this pandemic," shares Tiffany Cabibbo, DSc, MSN, RN, CENP, executive vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, Mount Nittany Health.

In February, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) identified Mount Nittany Health as a highly-efficient and high throughput organization for vaccine delivery. This recognition acknowledges our ability to distribute at least 80 percent of the vaccine within seven days. We average 1,785 vaccines per week, with our busiest days delivering 1,220 vaccine doses.


Our clinics, based on our efficiency, are a model for other healthcare institutions in the state. Dr. Cabibbo presented on a Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania call to share our best practices with peer providers. She also spoke at one of Senator Jake Corman's town halls to discuss COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the Commonwealth's 34th Senatorial District.

This is made possible through the dedication and skill of Mount Nittany Health staff. Pharmacy staff work with the DOH to order doses, store and prepare vaccines for distribution. Patient access staff schedule patients utilizing a hybrid model that includes a waiting list and calling at-risk, vulnerable community members under Mount Nittany Health's care to schedule patients, register them the day of their vaccine appointments and confirm second dose appointments. Nonclinical staff and security help with parking, assist with wheelchairs and answer questions about the vaccine process. At least ten vaccinators are on hand at all times to deliver the innoculations that will help us to move past this pandemic.

“We are committed to ensuring that everyone who wants a vaccine can get one, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health's phased approach to vaccine distribution," states Dr. Cabibbo. "Sometimes this commitment means lending a hand to other healthcare partners, as we did when Centre Volunteers in Medicine's (CVIM) second dose vaccine clinic was threatened due to statewide vaccine shipment delays."


In late February, we worked with CVIM and the DOH to temporarily divert our weekly vaccine allotment to avoid disruption to CVIM’s second dose clinic ensuring no one missed a dose and stayed within the recommended window for second dose administration. This is just an extension of Mount Nittany Health's determination to care for this community, even when that care expands beyond our clinical walls.

 

Mount Nittany Health Foundation's COVID-19 response fund has raised more than $217,000 to date. These funds have been poured directly back into the community, supporting COVID-19 testing locations in Centre and Mifflin counties, converting hospital floors into negative airflow units when needed, and now through our vaccine distribution program. To learn more about the fund or to make a gift, visit foundation.mountnittany.org/covid-19-response-fund.