CINCINNATI — Armed with only 100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines each week and up against a wait list nearly 2,000 names long, the Healthcare Connection's seven community clinics still push to pick up the phone whenever anyone calls.
"We felt that we needed that personal connection," said Jolean Joseph, CEO of the Healthcare Connection.
Making sure a human picks up the phone for anyone calling in hasn't been simple: it's overloaded phone lines and cost money, while the organization faces no additional funding for the service.
"In the last hour and 15 minutes, I got 27 phone calls," said Joseph.
She said the community clinics aim to help patients with nowhere else to turn, but it comes with its struggles. Cheryl Coleman, a registered nurse for two decades, has worked 11-hour days in the clinic since leaving her previous office.
Fortunately for Coleman, she finds the work fulfilling.
"I've given the vaccine to people and they've received their second dose and they have not seen their grandchild," she said.
She also spends time with patients who come in, working to address any nerves or concerns they may have about getting the vaccine. To those who are fearful about getting the shot, she explains the research study and her own personal participation in it.
"I also share with them that I was a participant in the research study and that really kind of perks people's ears up," she said.
To her, each vaccine administered is a life saved.
Thanks to a delivery from the National Guard, the Healthcare Connection has 400 doses up for grabs on Saturday morning. The clinic will be administering them from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Mount Healthy location. Those who are interested must make an appointment.