KENNETT SQUARE, PA — A Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN) affiliated nursing home this week became one of the first long-term care facilities in the U.S. to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers against COVID-19. Genesis HealthCare is one of the nation’s largest providers of post-acute care. An event, held outside Silver Lake Center in Dover, Delaware, documented the vaccinations of a Registered Nurse, Kolubah Goniah, Chief Nursing Officer, JoAnne Reifsnyder and the Center’s Executive Director, Warren Burke, and featured remarks by the Mayor of Dover, Robin R. Christiansen.
“Today marks an incredible milestone of hope and defense in our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: one of the first vaccinations of nursing home frontline staff,” said George V. Hager, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Genesis. “Since February, residents, families and healthcare workers in long-term care facilities across the nation have felt the brunt of the pandemic’s effects. But today unlocks the door to a safer future. I am grateful Genesis could be part of this historic moment and would like to thank the State of Delaware for their partnership and support in making this moment possible.”
“I am so grateful today. The arrival of this vaccine is hopefully the start of relief, especially for those who have been hit the hardest, and at the front lines of this pandemic from the beginning; our long-term care facilities and healthcare workers,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “Protecting our most vulnerable populations is our duty. I hope today is the beginning of the end, but we have a long winter ahead of us, and we must remain committed to social distancing, mask wearing and avoid gathering until we beat this.”
“I am thrilled to be able to finally begin providing our staff with this long-awaited sense of relief – it’s important for them and for our residents and patients,” said Richard Feifer, MD, MPH, FACP, Chief Medical Officer at Genesis. “Our teams have shown incredible dedication to protect and provide quality care to the most vulnerable members of our society amidst true adversity. The example our frontline workers have set today for our communities and our nation will help to build further trust in the vaccine, the most critical tool in our fight against COVID-19.”
“To stand side by side with our frontline staff and be among the first nursing home employees to receive the vaccine is an experience and a privilege I will take with me for the rest of my life,” said Chief Nursing Officer Dr. JoAnne Reifsnyder. “The last nine months have been unimaginable, and we have done everything in our power, used every tool at our disposal to fight this virus. I breathe a sigh of relief today, but I also know our fight against this deadly virus is far from over. We will continue to operate with extreme vigilance and with the vaccine supplementing PPE, testing and the proven health protocols we put in place to mitigate spread at our facilities and, above all, keep our residents safe.”
“This is a great day that we’ve all been waiting for – getting this vaccine is a huge relief and ray of light,” said Kolubah Goniah, Registered Nurse at Silver Lake Center. “I encourage everyone to take this step to protect yourself, your loved ones, the residents and patients you care for and their families.”
Genesis reports it is working closely with state governments to determine when vaccines will be available for all employees and residents at its facilities across the nation. As part of The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program announced in October by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, Genesis selected CVS Health Corp. as its pharmacy partner to provide and administer the vaccine in all states that are working with CVS or Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. for vaccine management.
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