Salem Health – 12/22/20 4:18 PM
Tuesday morning, West Valley Hospital received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Upon arrival, hospital staff moved the doses into an on-site freezer. Other staff members began setting up the first vaccination clinic, putting in motion plans laid out, practiced and rehearsed over the past month.
At 2:00 p.m., Brandon Schmidgall, West Valley Hospital chief administrative officer and licensed registered nurse, was on hand to administer the first vaccine to Gretel Honis, MD, a WVH emergency physician. Providers and staff from areas with close daily contact with COVID patients were also vaccinated, including individuals from the ED, lab, imaging, and family medicine clinics which treat patients with COVID or COVID like symptoms.
“For decades, West Valley Hospital has been providing a wide range of quality care to residents of Polk County,” Schmidgall said. “Today, we begin offering a new and historic service — the COVID-19 vaccine — first to our health care heroes, but eventually to our small-town community. The importance of this day cannot be overstated.”
West Valley Hospital will continue administering the first shipment of vaccines to other employees and providers with the most risk of exposure to COVID. This includes work areas such as the emergency department, medical surgical units, environmental services, lab, imaging and all clinical staff who treat patients with COVID or COVID like symptoms. In total, approximately 112 WVH employees fall into this category. Once this population is vaccinated we will expand offering to the remainder of the hospital and clinic staff at West Valley.
The arrival of a vaccine brings hope that an end to the pandemic is within sight. But in the meantime, health care officials urge community members to do their part by adhering to safety measures outlined by federal and state authorities to keep the virus from spreading: Wear a mask, physically distance from others, wash your hands, avoid gatherings and stay home when you’re sick.
West Valley Hospital is the Dallas, OR campus of Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics, which offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Salem Health is comprised of hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; “Like” us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.
Media contact: Salem Health 24-hour media relations line — 971-718-3157