When Rush University System for Health first began vaccinating people for COVID-19 in mid-December, the availability of vaccines across the country was limited and the logistics of vaccine administration still were in development. Despite these early difficulties, in less than four months Rush has administered its 100,000th dose of vaccine.
To mark the milestone, celebrations took place across the System, including a symbolic 100,000th dose administered Friday afternoon in Rush University Medical Center’s vaccination clinic in the Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion.
Rush leaders and staff on the front lines of vaccinations alike were moved by the achievement and the hope it represents for all — especially as Rush’s overall vaccination capacity approaches 2,000 doses per clinic day.
“Early in this pandemic, we made a decision that we were going to make a difference,” said Angelique Richard, PhD, RN, CENP, senior vice president of hospital operations for Rush University Medical Center and chief nursing officer for the Medical Center and the Rush system. “I could not be prouder of the work that every single individual in this organization has done to make that happen — internally as part of the Rush family, but more importantly as part of the community at large.”
“It’s been a long, difficult road, so to be at a point where people are receiving a vaccine is really quite uplifting,” said Sikiart Yusuf, RN, who works in the telemetry unit at Rush Oak Park Hospital. Yusuf was receiving her second shot today in the hospital’s vaccine clinic. “It’s encouraging that we’re finally celebrating these milestones.”
“We have been very blessed to be able to provide this vaccine of hope to our community. Our patients are unbelievably appreciative. You can feel the positivity in the vaccine clinics,” said Claire Anderson, DNP, APRN-FPA, FNP-BC, director of clinical services and advanced practice providers at Rush Copley Medical Center. “It is a rewarding experience for our team members at Rush Copley to be part of the vaccination effort and help bring an end to the pandemic.”
“It’s easy to be mission driven and take care of your community when things are going well. This has been an incredibly challenging year, and I still get emotional when I see all of you here volunteering and see our 100,000th vaccination,” Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO and president of Rush University Medical Center told the crowd gathered in the Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion. “Doing the right thing when things get hard: That is what happened here. I sincerely congratulate all of you.”
In addition to Friday’s event, Rush employees each will be treated to a 100 Grand (formerly $100,000) candy bar, courtesy of Ferrero North America, symbolizing the 100,000 doses. 100 Grand bars were distributed via the vaccination clinics Friday, with additional distribution across all shifts to take place over the next week.
Members of the Rush community are encouraged to continue the celebration virtually by posting photos with their 100 Grand candy bar along with messages encouraging friends and family to get vaccinated, tagging @RushMedical and @FerreroNACorp.