Wudan Yan, a journalist based out of Seattle, spent a day at the January 29 Bainbridge Prepares’ COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Senior Center. Her in-depth article on the clinic, including many gorgeous photos by Jovelle Tamayo, was featured in the Medium publication Elemental, which focuses on health and wellness.
The article talks about the origins of Bainbridge Prepares’ Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the idea of Bainbridge doctors Andrea Chymiy and David Cowan. The existence of the MRC, Yan writes, made it possible when COVID-19 arrived on the Island to staff with medical personnel local drive-thru and on-site testing efforts as well as our local vaccine clinics.
Yan also writes about Mark Tan, owner of Bainbridge Island Community Pharmacy (BICP). Tan, she explains, made a request for vaccines just a few days after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Moderna version. Toward the end of December, he found out that 300 doses had been approved by the federal government, making BICP one of the first places to get that approval in Washington State. Tan has continued to make weekly requests for more vaccines to keep the clinics going.
For her article, Yan spoke with a number of the Bainbridge Prepares volunteers staffing the clinic. More than 400 such volunteers are available to help out with injections, data input, greeting, registration, and post-vaccine monitoring. They include members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Bainbridge Island Emergency Medical Responders (BIEMR) as well as members of the MRC.
Yan also spoke with Loren Bast, Executive Director of Bainbridge Prepares, who has been present at most if not all the vaccine clinics run by BP. He is the one who must often make the decision about when to start calling people on the waitlist to make sure no vaccine goes to waste. Yan quotes Bast about Bainbridge Prepares and how it’s been able to step up for the community: “We’ve become the model for how other towns and counties can basically establish their own medical reserve corps.” Dr. Chymiy told Yan that volunteer slots fill up within an hour and added, “People are really, really excited to help.”
Read the entire article here.