Mount Desert Island Hospital has recognized the Mission as a 2022 Healthcare Partner of the Year. The award recognizes our Covid-19 vaccination clinics and telemedicine programs during the pandemic. In 2021, we administered 928 COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters on seven unbridged islands in addition to its traditional Island Health work done via the Sunbeam, the nonprofit’s 74-foot-long vessel. John Zavodny, Mission President, and Sharon Daley, RN, Director of Island Health, who spearheaded the Mission’s vaccination program with Director of Island Outreach Douglas Cornman, were on hand to accept the award for the Mission.
Christina Maguire, President/CEO of Mount Desert Island Hospital, says, “The Maine Seacoast Mission has been a dedicated, committed partner in providing healthcare to our outer island populations through telehealth and in-person visits. Their unique service model brings care to island residents who would otherwise not have access to care, and this is vital to their health and wellbeing. Throughout the pandemic, the Maine Seacoast Mission was a faithful partner to MDI Hospital, and we thank them for their dedication, commitment, and service.”
The Mission started working on a plan to vaccinate the island residents in early 2021. “When vaccinations first became available in January, people on the islands started calling and emailing, asking me if I could vaccinate them,” Sharon recalls. Soon after, Daley and the Mission began working with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to become an official vaccine provider. A little over a month later, on February 25, the Mission started vaccinating people during a clinic on Swan’s Island. Over the next three months, the Mission fully vaccinated 343 people and conducted 20 clinics, traveling by ferry, airplane, mailboat, lobster boat and on the Sunbeam.
Sharon says that that MDI Hospital was invaluable in the Mission’s vaccination efforts, “MDI Hospital made it possible for us to do Covid vaccines on seven islands. It was a huge undertaking and we could never have managed it without the support of MDI Hospital. The pharmacists were busy but always paused to answer my questions and give us support.” She continued, “One islander recently told us how their island felt so cared for during the pandemic. Both the vaccine recipients and the Mission thank MDI Hospital for its contributions to our work.” (Photo Credit: Erin Clark, The Boston Globe)