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Sarah Stultz: Thank you to all working in Public Health

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I covered the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners workshop on Tuesday and was impressed after hearing a presentation by three members of the county’s Public Health Department about the organization and planning that have gone into preparing the county’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics. The Public Health employees and many others have put in hours of hard work, on top of all of the regular work they are responsible for, to make these clinics happen, and they have done so with such dedication. They have scheduled vaccinations, ordered supplies and vaccine, organized staffing for the clinics, logged data for the state and as of Tuesday morning had vaccinated more than 5,000 alone through their efforts.

In addition to long days for Public Health staff at the vaccination clinics, employees from other county departments have assisted when possible to provide duties such as checking people in, giving out paperwork or making phone calls to set up vaccinations.

Aside from vaccination clinics at the Armory and at the Fairlane Building at the fairgrounds, Public Health staff have also organized clinics at a couple of large employers in the community, at Adult Basic Education at Brookside and even at some local churches to reach more members of the community. They have gone above and beyond their typical work expectations out of an effort to help their friends and neighbors.

I had the opportunity last week to receive my first vaccine dose at the Armory through one of the clinics Public Health offers, and saw firsthand how smoothly the clinic operated.

I appreciated the organization and the planning, along with the smiles and the friendliness from all I encountered.

Getting these vaccine clinics up and running — and running smoothly — certainly is no small endeavor, and I thank them for their expertise and wisdom in doing so.

Public Health nurses have always trained for pandemics but it wasn’t until this last year, that many have had to put what they’ve learned to use.

Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen mentioned at the end of their segment during the workshop that it was National Public Health Week.

I join in the thanks for all these individuals have done over the last year and think they truly do not get enough recognition for what they do.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.