ALLIANCE, Ohio — Working with the Alliance City Health Department, the University of Mount Union’s Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program has assisted in administering COVID-19 vaccines to members of the Alliance community at the Alliance Senior Center.
During the two of three sessions that have already taken place, 20 PA students volunteered to administer vaccines, and 14 more PA students will participate at the next scheduled session March 31. In conjunction with the efforts of Mount Union nursing students who have also volunteered, more than 1,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be given by Mount Union students.
“It was a really humbling opportunity to hear people say, ‘I’m now able to go see my family and actually spend time with them and it’s been months. You don’t know how grateful I am to be able to do that.’ It was a nice experience to be able to do that for them,” said Kesley Putman, a PA student of Canton, Ohio.
“Something that jumped out to me was a 102-year-old came to our station, and it really drove home the fact that we were helping out with our community’s most vulnerable members,” said David Drenan, a PA student of Tallmadge, Ohio.
“The students are eager to help and did a great job,” said Vanessa Worley, associate professor and academic coordinator of the PA Program at Mount Union. “The faculty members who were there supervising the PA students were very proud of their professionalism and ability to make the individuals receiving the vaccines feel comfortable. The Health Department has impressively smooth and well-organized processes, and they are a great team of people to work with!”
Continuing to be involved in much of the COVID-19 healthcare process, Mount Union PA students also volunteered to help with testing of athletes on Mount Union’s campus.
“When I heard we had the chance to help with COVID testing I jumped at the opportunity,” said Kayla Young, a PA student of Lorain, Ohio. “COVID has been a burden on healthcare workers and as students there hasn't been much we could do to help. This was a great experience to help relieve some of that burden and do my part as a PA student."
“Being a part of the athletic COVID testing was an eye-opening experience,” said Iayat Alkhalaf, a PA student of Dearborn, Michigan. “Living through a pandemic and witnessing it firsthand are two completely different things. Having the opportunity to learn about what goes into the testing process and being able to be a part of it was truly rewarding. As a first year PA student, I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to contribute to my community."