Three from Fisher Serving on New Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force
Three members of the St. John Fisher College community are serving on the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. Dr. Yvette Conyers, assistant professor in the Wegmans School of Nursing and president of the Rochester Black Nurses Association; Dr. Christine Birnie, dean of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy; and Dr. Alex DeLucenay, associate professor in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy and president of the Pharmacy Society of Rochester, joined the task force this January.
The Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task force was established by Monroe County Executive, Adam Bello, and Monroe County Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza. Comprised of more than 70 community leaders in the Finger Lakes Region, the task force is aimed at providing equity, transparency, and efficiency in the COVID-19 immunization rollout. The task force will also provide Finger Lakes residents with accurate information to help them make informed decisions about the vaccination. The task force committee will assist in building a foundation of transparency and trust in marginalized communities and underrepresented organizations through a variety of approaches. Task force members will also help advise the Finger Lakes Regional Hub, the state-appointed organization in charge of coordinating, distributing, and delivering the supply of COVID-19 vaccines throughout the region.
“I am pleased to be able to represent the College on this important committee at such a critical time in our communities,” said Birnie. “Ensuring that all individuals have access to the vaccine and accurate information is essential, particularly in the minority and marginalized communities. The College is committed to supporting these efforts and is prepared to provide educational resources, expertise, and vaccination workforce at this critical time.”
The Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force’s goal is to vaccinate at least 70 percent of adult residents in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. The task force is co-chaired by Dr. Nancy Bennett, leader of the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Hub at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health.
The College is actively engaged in providing support to the vaccine rollout in the region. School of Pharmacy faculty and students are serving with the Monroe County Health Department on vaccine handling and administration at the area’s Point of Dispensing (PODS) around the city. Members of the School are also developing educational materials to assist in a vaccine literacy project aimed at the minority communities in the region, which was supported by a grant from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
This article was written by Riley Moscicki ’21, an PR Writing Intern with the Office of Marketing and Communications.