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INTEGRIS depends on OC to vaccinate at-risk population

02 19 21 COVID Vaccine 3

The week of February 14, 2021 will forever be noted in weather history. Record breaking, freezing temperatures and snowfall wrecked havoc throughout the region and no one was immune. Of 31 water main breaks in Oklahoma City, INTEGRIS Health experienced two of them, both their NW Expressway and Portland locations were adversely affected.

All of Oklahoma was under a deep freeze causing the university to move to four days of virtual learning, a first in the school's 70 year history.

As soon as INTEGRIS knew that the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines were in jeopardy, CEO Avila Williams, M.D. reached out to Oklahoma Christian University President John deSteiguer. The university and healthcare system have partnered in several ways, most recently to educate and train nurses to meet the great demand, so Williams knew she could depend on OC's immediate response.

OC maintenance crews had been working overtime to keep students warm and safe throughout the storm, but deSteiguer knew there must be a way the university could help solve the vaccine delivery problem.

"Our circle drive at the Gaylord University Center worked well for Immy Labs to offer covid testing to the community, so we knew we could make it work for vaccines too," said deSteiguer. "We went to work clearing the drive, sidewalks and parking lot and brought over golf carts to assist the age 65-plus vaccine recipients."

Patients were contacted about the change in location for vaccine delivery, and about 75 INTEGRIS staff and volunteers pulled together with OC crews to set up for safe delivery for an expected 2,200 vaccines over two days.

Most recipients at OC today and tomorrow meet the Oklahoma State Department of Health tier one requirement, and they are receiving the second Moderna vaccination.

Moderna Covid-19 vaccines were delivered to tier II recipients by INTEGRIS for the first time at Oklahoma Christian University.

"Up to this point, per the state's guidelines, we have been doing 65 and older," said INTEGRIS Marketing and Communications Specialist Baylee Leibold. "The state has facilitated sign up and we have lent our services and resources to help administer. For appointments that did not fill up or cancellations, we are moving down to the second tier instructions for those under 65 but higher risk. This is our first time reaching that population."

The space at OC allows for people to have easy access into the building and experience a clean environment while practicing healthy distancing. The patient experience is well thought out and flows smoothly. Organization is key to safely vaccinating more than 2,000 people in only two days. Being known as a trusted partner in times of crisis is a testimony to the core values that OC holds in high esteem.

"Our campus and our alumni are known for dependability and integrity. We want to make a difference at home and in sending our graduates throughout the world. Education plays a vital role in building a strong city. Our partnership with INTEGRIS is just beginning and serves as an example for how working together benefits everyone," said deSteiguer.

You can sign up for the vaccine with the state Department of Health.