Drive provides community a shot in the arm
Oct 17, 2016
Hays Daily News
A steady line of vehicles moved through the driveway and into the north parking area of Hays Medical Center.
Participants picked up a sheet for anyone with them at the first stopping point, and then moved on to wait for the next process. It signaled the HaysMed drive-thru flu shot clinic had arrived once again Sunday.
The annual event was filled with a flow of cars, trucks, SUV’s and even a few people on bicycles. From start to end, the line extended out from the entrance at Canterbury Drive into the parking lot east of the Center for Health Improvement.
The process went about as smooth as possible, officials said.
“We’ve been lucky,” said Kim Koerner, infection prevention and associate health nurse at HaysMed. “We meet after the flu drive and discuss what worked and what didn’t and things we need to improve on. We do that every year. It’s just that we’ve had it for so many years, it’s starting to work really well.”
The flu drive usually consists of approximately 120 to 150 volunteers. Some of those volunteers come from the Fort Hays State University nursing program. It’s a partnership Koerner started with the college to give students a chance to be a part of administering vaccines for clinical experience.
Koerner said it is the second year the students have received clinical experience with the drive. The students were volunteering before last year, but it wasn’t a formal partnership.
“We like to do this as a community effort,” Koerner said. “Partnering up with Fort Hays gives them clinical experience. This helps prepare (students) for the work experience.”
The event is able to be put on every year through the support of the HaysMed Foundation. With donations through the community to the foundation, vaccinations are made available for the drive.
“I know it gets increasingly more and more expensive each year,” Koerner said. “If I remember correctly, I think it costs (the foundation) between $35,000 to $40,000 just for the vaccine.”
The drive thru portion of the clinic is for adults. Children 6 months and older who take part in the vaccination go through the gym inside the CHI building. Adults with the children also can receive their shot inside the building. There were five lanes for drivers to go through, with 10 stations in all. Inside, there were 10 stations for pediatrics and eight for adults.
By the time cleanup started after the drive Sunday, Koerner said she was estimating they were near the average of 3,500 participants. The largest number for the drive Koerner could remember was approximately 3,900.
“This is possible because of the HaysMed Foundation,” Koerner said. “They support this completely.”