The accolades continue for the multidisciplinary team that set up the SMC Campus Center COVID-19 joint vaccination site in 2021. The team received a University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Core Values Award for collaboration last year, and now its members have been honored by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
In a ceremony Feb. 22 outside the UMB President’s Boardroom in the Saratoga Building, members of the UMB community who assisted in the clinic’s successful operation were presented with Governor’s Citations on behalf of Hogan, who was unable to attend.
The clinic, established last year at the SMC Campus Center, was a joint effort among UMB, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), and Faculty Physicians, Inc. (FPI). Faculty, staff, and students from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) and the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) helped to administer the shots, resulting in more than 40,000 COVID-19 vaccinations.
“It surely was a stressful thing to set up,” said UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, who presided over the ceremony along with Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of UMSON. “Our partners from UMMC and FPI did a marvelous job. But the people who did the really spectacular job are in this room today, because we made something work that I think was very difficult to make work.”
A significant percentage of people receiving vaccines at the clinic were from West Baltimore, Jarrell said. UMB faculty, students, and staff also filed through to roll up their sleeves and get the shots. UMB also partnered with the Indian Health Service and Native American LifeLines of Baltimore to provide vaccines to the Native American community. At the time, UMB’s site was the only clinic of its kind in the region, specially arranged to serve Native Americans from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
“It was a wonderful procedure to watch,” Jarrell said of the clinic’s operations. “I just remember how the Elm Ballroom transitioned into this marvelous machine. It’s just a remarkable achievement. And I think it’s fantastic that the governor actually recognized this with a set of citations, because that doesn’t happen every day.”
Each recipient received a framed citation signed by Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford, and Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith. It reads:
“Be it known: That on behalf of the citizens of this State, in recognition of your leadership at the University of Maryland, Baltimore community Mass Vaccination Site, which greatly impacted and improved thousands of lives, including Baltimore City residents, underserved communities and vulnerable populations; your tireless commitment to the health and safety of Marylanders, overcoming enormous adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic; and your dedication to improving the human condition through innovation, equity and integrity, we are pleased to confer upon you this Governor’s Citation.”
Kirschling, who served as the director of the clinic, also expressed her appreciation to all involved.
“To each and every one of you, a profound thank you,” she said. “It was a joy to work with all of you. Many of you I would not have met had we not had this opportunity. You’re now a part of this sort of network of folks who did something amazing.”
One of the honorees, Dana Rampolla, director of integrated marketing in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, said teamwork was critical in getting the clinic up and running.
“Here at UMB, we pride ourselves on collaboration of all sorts,” she said. “And this was a prime example of that, because it took not only the emergency personnel, the people behind the scenes in the pharmacy, the doctors, the nurses, and those administering the vaccines, but it took all of the people just to get the clinic set up. It was truly a massive effort to have this available for Baltimore.”
Another citation recipient, Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, associate professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, and associate dean of student affairs, UMSOP, echoed Rampolla’s remarks.
“It just goes to show what we can do as a campus when we come together and collaborate through various offices and schools,” Layson-Wolf said. “I’m so proud of the opportunity for the School of Pharmacy to contribute materially to the clinic — not just the faculty who were involved, but also all of our students stepping up, all of those hours and long days. And they did it without any sort of hesitation.”
In addition to Kirschling, Rampolla, and Layson-Wolf, the others who received Governor’s Citations are:
- Jonathan Bratt, MS, executive director, Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
- Laura Cathcart, PhD, training and exercise program manager, OEM
- James Chandler, MPA, critical resources and logistics program manager, OEM
- Brian Coats, ScD, associate vice president, technology operations and planning, Center for Information Technology Services
- Bill Crockett, MS, RCRSP, executive director, Division of Student Affairs
- Madison Haas, MSW, economic inclusion coordinator, Office of Community Engagement
- Mario Majette, MD, former clinical instructor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, and director of student and employee health, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- Hayley Markman, MPA, continuity of operations program manager, OEM
- Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, FNAP, professor and chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, UMSOP
- Carin Morrell, MA, public information officer, UMB Police Department and OEM
- Christopher Stanton, MS, deputy director, OEM