Residents and Associates Receive Doses at White Oaks Community in Bridgeport
Residents and associates at Harmony Senior Services located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, were among the first in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this morning. A local pharmacy administered the doses in coordination with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The first recipients were a Harmony at White Oaks Assisted Living resident and the community's Executive Director.
Resident, and skilled puzzle maker, Charlie Martin said, "I think I am fortunate to be one of the first ones to receive the vaccine." He encouraged others to also get the vaccine, stating "The world is in trouble without this." Harmony at White Oaks Executive Director, Beth Harris, said she is eager for normalcy to return. "It won't be long until I can hug my mom and dad and our residents here. I love them so much. I want to be proactive and lead the way so everyone can hug their loved ones and be safe."
Jim Smith, Harmony's founder and owner, attended today's clinic with his family. Smith, who has been in the healthcare industry for over 50 years, spoke with associates about the vaccine and encouraged them to trust the science behind the vaccines. Smith stated, "Everybody benefits from receiving the vaccine, but the real beneficiaries are all the people that you come in contact with, the residents that we are taking care of, and other associates in the community." The Smith Family Foundation has generously offered a $1,000 raffle at each Harmony community in the spirit of their tagline "Family Serving Families" for everyone who receives the vaccine to encourage participation.
Harmony's CEO, Terry Howard, has called every Executive Director in each of Harmony's 32 communities to stress how important this vaccination is for the 2,100 essential healthcare workers in the company. "At Harmony Senior Services we have been waiting anxiously for nine months while doing everything to protect the health and safety of our residents and associates and prepare for distribution of this vaccine for COVID-19. We are grateful and excited this day has come," said Howard.
Harmony hopes this vaccine is available to all of its more than 4,000 residents in communities in seven states by the end of December. Harmony will continue to monitor each community daily while providing new and innovative ways to address the pandemic, including frequent surface testing, supercharged disinfectant spraying, and enhanced HVAC filtration systems.
Harmony has communicated frequently and in detail with its residents, their families, and associates throughout this pandemic. Harmony will continue to provide regular information as the vaccine becomes available in each community. We are grateful for everyone's support.