Southlake Regional Health Centre, Mackenzie Health and Reena worked together to provide more than 2,000 COVID-19 vaccinations to York Region residents with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.
The vaccinations were administered at the Ray Twinney Vaccination Centre in Newmarket and at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital on April 13 and 14, with accommodations made to create a positive experience on those designated days for vulnerable members of the community.
“In-van vaccinations were offered to some people if necessary, volunteers were on-site to support people with behavioural needs, and they even changed the lighting and music,” said an individual who was part of the experience.
Other accommodations included on-site pediatricians, lowering lights, providing private spaces for vaccinations, playing calm music and extended times between appointments to reduce long lineups.
"I was honoured to be a part of this day. Our clinical and support staff went above and beyond to make this day special for all involved." said Anne Forsey, manager of the Southlake vaccination centre in Newmarket.
"It was truly heartwarming to watch such a dedicated team do so many creative things to lessen the anxiety of those receiving their needles. It reminded me why I went into nursing so many years ago. I had so many offers from our team to work those shifts once our team heard about the plans for that day, truly showing they wanted to be by their side," Forsey added.