Alumna Brings COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic to Rural Community

Published on 13 May 2021

As a pharmacist, Renee Moore, B.S. ’97, felt called to ensure that residents in her hometown of Bartelso, Illinois, had access to COVID-19 vaccinations in their local community.

After learning that many residents were unable to receive vaccinations from neighboring towns in February, Moore began working with her local health department and village government to set up a vaccination clinic in Bartelso.

What inspired you to bring a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to your village?

When I was working in the pharmacy, my patients kept telling me that they were having trouble scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment even though they were eligible to receive one.

I called another pharmacist and they confirmed that vaccine distribution was limited to city residents at the time. In that moment I realized how difficult it would be for some residents of Bartelso to receive the vaccine.

Immediately, I knew it was my duty as a health care professional to do something about it. I reached out to my village government and the local health department to figure out how to bring a vaccination clinic to town.

How did you implement a COVID-19 vaccination clinic?

I volunteered at a vaccination clinic in the neighboring town so I could understand the flow of the clinic.

They had a well-organized system, so we mimicked their plan.

I then provided my professional insight as a health care provider to government officials and the health department so they could implement the clinic.

During our first clinic, every person who was scheduled for an appointment showed up. It was amazing to see how excited people were to receive their vaccine.

How do you see your role as a pharmacist in a rural community?

I feel a rush of pride to be able to help people during this unprecedented time.

In a smaller community, I get to see the same people regularly. I can build relationships and get to know them on a deeper level. I provide them with immunizations and counsel them on their new prescriptions so they feel comfortable coming to me with their health care concerns.

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