Published in the Daily News Newspaper
In the fall of 2019, when Dakota Wainwright accepted the position of Director of RMH Walk-In Care, her upcoming job appeared to be challenging, but not extraordinary. Within six months, the landscape of healthcare, and Dakota’s job, had been transformed. In addition to providing routine healthcare, the Walk-In Care (WIC) staff soon found working to fit new services into the same space, with most of the same staff, as their regular clinic.
When the amount of space available can’t change, or can’t change fast enough, the only solution is to improve your processes and to ask more of your staff. Fortunately, Dakota and her team were able to meet this challenge.
As of December 18, 2020, three separate services are located in the RMH Walk-In Clinic. These services include: a Covid-19 vaccine clinic, a free curbside Covid-19 testing clinic, and the RMH Walk-In Care clinic. The original service was the Walk-In Care clinic itself.
When asked about the relative challenges of setting up the testing and vaccination clinics, Dakota said, “The vaccine clinic was less stressful, process wise, except for the time limits on the vaccine, and the need to make sure none was wasted. All the people who have stepped up and helped have done an amazing job. I have a great team and that makes it a lot easier. The patients coming through the clinic have been wonderful. People refer their friends and family members because the process is so smooth.”
Craig and Sandra Sherman agree:
““My wife and I traveled to Rush county from New Castle. The reason was simple, we could get in to receive our injections in two days, when everywhere else I checked online was booked solid till a month from now. We have a trip by air in the middle of February and wanted the second injection prior to that date. We have not had any experience with Healthcare in Rush County and have never set foot inside any of the Rush Memorial Hospital facilities.
We were pleasantly surprised. Your facility is top notch!
From the nice lady answering the phone (Main listed number) this morning when I asked about the exact location of entrance to the vaccine location, (she gave me turn by turn directions to exactly the right spot). The big smile and courteous reception at the desk of Walk-In Care. Then the entrance into Room #7 by RN Becky that treated us like she was entertaining us in her home. A completely pleasant experience.
Bottom-line, whoever is pulling the levers and pressing the buttons on this operation, is leading the total operation on a path of complete success.”
The attitude of vaccine clinic patients has made the entire process very rewarding, according to Dakota. She admits that running all three services is challenging for her and her staff, but she says, “The gratitude and appreciation of the people coming through the vaccine clinic boosts our morale. We’ve had patients tell us, “You’ve given me my life back”. What we’re doing helps people, and that’s what we’re here for.”
While Dakota and her staff understand and support the reasons for the way the state is setting age restrictions for vaccine recipients, they also sympathize with the patients who are frustrated because they are not yet allowed to receive the vaccine. They look forward to the day when there is enough vaccine to offer it to everyone.