Over the last year, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe. But no group has been more affected than senior citizens. Already at a higher risk for infection and fearful for their physical health, the increased level of isolation from family, friends, and even fellow residents, was having a serious impact on their mental health, as well.
As the COVID-19 vaccine started to become available in North Carolina, Resources for Seniors, a local non-profit that connects seniors to essential resources and a DHIC partner, contacted DHIC about working with them and Alignment Medical to reach seniors living in the hardest-hit zip codes in Raleigh/Wake County. They wanted to first focus their efforts on southeast Raleigh, and then expand their reach to senior communities throughout the county.
Resources for Seniors led the efforts to coordinate vaccination clinics at each of the senior sites, but additional support was needed to make the vaccine available to seniors living in DHIC family communities, where Resources for Seniors did not have a presence. This required the involvement of a trusted individual and someone who would address each call with care and patience.
“When presented with this partnership opportunity, I knew that LaTonya was the best one for this assignment,” said Yvette Holmes, VP of Resource Development & Partnerships. “LaTonya’s vast experience, coupled with her compassion for people, made here uniquely qualified to have very personal and delicate conversations with seniors.”
Over the course of 10 weeks, LaTonya committed her time to supporting Resources for Seniors in coordinating and hosting vaccine clinics at 15 DHIC properties. She also called over 150 seniors living in DHIC family communities to inform them about the clinics being planned. In the end, her hard work and that of others resulted in 422 shots being administered to seniors. The second round of shots are soon to wrap-up and seniors are extremely grateful. One Capital Towers resident, Walter, wrote us to show his appreciation for the vaccination efforts.
“On February 8, 2021, a group of medical personnel came to Capital Towers and administered the COVID-19 vaccine to all of us that wanted it. I am 80 years old with a heart condition and I don’t know if I would have ever gotten my vaccination if it wasn’t for them,” said Walter. “Thank you from all the residents at Capital Towers!”
In LaTonya’s words, the results were absolutely worth the countless hours of work. “I was able to help seniors who were at the end of their rope with trying to get a vaccine. One resident in his 80s told me that he was going through chemotherapy and worried that even if he beat cancer, COVID would get him. Being able to see that man get his vaccine and the happy tears in his eyes made every hour of work worth it.”
We’re proud to recognize her work today as a strong woman in our organization who has spent the last five-and-a-half years bringing positive impact to DHIC’s residents and communities.
To read more about LaTonya’s efforts, please click here.