“The community has been so fortunate to have the gift of Barbara’s skills and time over the years. Her contribution has been quiet but absolutely essential to our flu immunization program.”
Lisa White, RN, PhD, Franklin Regional Council of Governments
This quarter’s member spotlight features both Lisa White, RN, PhD, Regional Public Health Nurse at Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) and Barbara Wroblewski RN, MSN, Health Records Nurse at Greenfield Community College. Ms. White was nominated for the Massachusetts Adult Immunization Champion Award by Ms. Wroblewski. Ms. White and Ms. Wroblewski work closely during annual flu clinics offered by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments throughout Franklin County, MA.
Providing Flu Vaccines to Franklin County Residents
Franklin County, Massachusetts is a geographically challenging area of the state with an elderly population well above the state average. In 2015, the county’s elder population was 37% vs 19% statewide. By 2025, Franklin County is projected to have an elder population rate of 52% vs. 34% statewide.
To meet the flu vaccine needs of the county’s aging population, Ms. White coordinates multiple, annual flu clinics in communities across Franklin County. Each fall, Ms. White holds approximately 13 well-attended flu clinics at carefully chosen locations convenient to the counties older adults including senior centers, schools, town halls, and churches. She coordinates a team of volunteers to set up each clinic and facilitates the patient and data flows. Over 1,000 flu vaccines were given during the flu clinics held in Fall 2019. Volunteer remember a “famous” drive-through vaccination clinic held a few years ago where several hundred people were vaccinated during a single event.
The clinics are managed with precision and good humor, while Ms. White remains upbeat and creative in her approach to develop, publicize, conduct, and break down each clinic.
For more than a decade, Ms. Wroblewski has volunteered at the FRCOG flu clinics. For the past several years, she has manually enter vaccination records into the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS) during the clinics. She troubleshoots local wi-fi issues, navigates the MIIS, and manages “heaps” of paperwork. Ms. Wroblewski diligently keeps records of each immunization including the patient vaccinated, who administered each vaccine, and the formulation of each vaccine. In a large clinic that can mean 12 or more rosters need to be created. She is consistently accurate and works quickly, often completing entries for 50 of more patients in an hour. Always asking for her work station to be set up near the form collection area of the flu clinic, Ms. Wroblewski enjoys the connection to the residents and the experience of being part of the clinic.
Beyond flu vaccines
Several of the flu clinics are also planned as emergency dispensing drills. These are coordinated with local town officials and provide them with the experience of moving a volume of citizens through a mass immunization process. Ms. White also maintains a regular schedule of office time at a variety of sites across Franklin County where individuals can obtain immunizations and other health services.
For more information about the flu clinics operated by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments or other vaccination services, please contact:
Lisa White, RN, PhD
Regional Public Health Nurse
Franklin Regional Council of Governments
12 Olive Street, Suite 2
Greenfield, MA 01301
413-665-1400, ext. 114