On the morning of Monday, December 14, the first individual in the United States received the approved COVID-19 vaccination, creating some much needed illumination at the end of a long and devastating coronavirus pandemic tunnel.
That first vaccine recipient was Sandra Lindsay, the director of critical care nursing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, which is part of the Northwell Health system. In the few days following the event, photos and footage of Ms. Lindsay getting her shot in the arm appeared in major newspapers, national news programs and online. Ms. Lindsay has led a team of hundreds of critical care nurses who have been caring for COVID-19 patients since the first wave of this pandemic. And as the New York Times reports, Ms. Lindsay volunteered to go first “in an effort to appeal to men and women of color who are skeptical of vaccinations in general.” The images of Ms. Lindsay receiving the first vaccine are a powerful symbol on multiple levels.
The Enterprise Health team is proud of the fact that Northwell Health is a client, and our software is being used to help Northwell track and manage COVID vaccine administration — including this momentous first shot. Our team has been working collaboratively with Northwell to prepare for this historic milestone, modifying existing mass immunization functionality to support COVID vaccine administration. This has been a monumental, move heaven and earth effort, as many of the required vaccination program details have only just emerged — requiring last minute configuration changes and the rapid setup of immunization registry interfaces with both the New York state and New York City registries.
On Tuesday, December 15, we conducted a webinar highlighting COVID vaccine efforts. Our timing was fortuitous, as just a little over 24 hours prior the first vaccination was given. We were even luckier to have a Northwell client representative present at the webinar, sharing details about our work together to put their organization in position to administer the first shot.
At Enterprise Health, we take great pride in helping occupational and employee health professionals at health systems, corporations and government agencies as they work largely behind the scenes to keep employees present, productive, safe and healthy. The COVID pandemic puts a fine point on the critical importance of the work our clients do, and we applaud Northwell and our entire client community on their steady leadership and commitment to employee health.