GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Across the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s four campuses, over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered.Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot COVID-19 vaccines are available at all four of UW-Green Bay campuses including:Green BayMarinetteManitowocSheboygan“We are grateful for the collective effort of our students, faculty, staff, and our partners at Prevea Health to fight the pandemic,” says UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander.Prevea Health community vaccination clinics are at all four of UW-Green Bay campuses.According to officials, UW-Green Bay nursing students have provided more than 700 hours vaccinating and educating at COVID vaccination sites in February and March.
University continues to help region move forward from pandemic
Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s four campuses are making a significant difference in the battle against COVID-19. With Prevea Health community vaccination clinics at all four campuses (Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan), Prevea has administered nearly 105,000 doses of vaccine to date at these sites alone.
“We are grateful for the collective effort of our students, faculty, staff, and our partners at Prevea Health to fight the pandemic,” says UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander. “Reaching the milestones of 100,000 vaccination shots and 30,000 rapid tests is helping our region to move past the pandemic. Not only have we shown how resilient we are in continuing to educate and keep students safe during this time, we’ve also served, as we should, as an important community partner in being a part of the solution. We will continue to try to solve problems for the region we serve.”
“COVID-19 vaccination is key as we move forward in this pandemic to determine what will happen next. We are extremely thankful to our UW-Green Bay partners and the way that they have wanted to help steer this pandemic in the right direction,” says President and CEO, Dr. Ashok Rai. “Their partnership has allowed us the space we’ve needed to vaccinate the masses in four of our communities. I can’t say enough how important this has been as we make every effort to vaccinate Northeast Wisconsin.”
COVID-19 vaccines are available at all four UW-Green Bay campuses with many available appointments. To schedule an appointment, visit: prevea.com/vaccine.
UW-Green Bay Nursing Students Step to Front Lines
To date, UW-Green Bay nursing students have provided more than 700 hours vaccinating and educating at COVID vaccination sites in February and March alone. Additionally, nursing faculty have contributed 77 hours toward vaccination efforts during this period. Nursing students are eager to be involved in this important public health initiative. Nursing students and supervising nursing faculty have assisted at 13 vaccination sites including at the Marinette School District, Watertown City Health Department, Sheboygan County Health and Human Services, Kewaunee County Health Department, Green Bay Correctional Institution, Lawrence University, and National Guard/Menasha City Health Department. Additional sites include Lakeshore Community Health Center, Veterans Administration Clinic and Aurora BayCare.
This effort has been supported by a Wisconsin Partnership Program Grant and UW System tuition credit program for nursing students involved in assisting with COVID response activities.
Rapid Testing will Continue through May
In response to the region’s ongoing need for Covid-19 testing, UW-Green Bay will be extending the community surge drive-thru testing at the Weidner Center through May 2021. To date, 30,765 rapid antigen and confirmatory PCR tests have been given at the site. To schedule an appointment please visit doineedacovid19test.com.
Call it a win-win-win-win.Thanks to a program involving University of Wisconsin-Green Bay nursing students, many good things are happening at the Green Bay VA Health Care Clinic: Student nurses are getting hands-on experience by giving COVID-19 shots. The clinic is getting help in staffing vaccination clinics .The students are getting tuition aid. Veterans are being kept safe. The COVID-19 Tuition Refund Program, launched last year by Tommy Thompson, interim University of Wisconsin System president, is yielding all those positive results.
The program allows nursing students to receive tuition credit of $500 if they log at least 16 hours in a clinic, giving COVID-19 shots.While most of those students are working in community clinics, two students from UW-Green Bay are giving shots in the Green Bay VA clinic.
“It’s a neat experience,” said Alyssa Ehlke, a sophomore in her first year in the nursing program. “It’s nice that they’re giving us the practice, and we get a little extra money back for it. Plus I’m able to work through the pandemic.”
This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.
Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 21, I’m young, why get vaccinated?
Hi Brian Merkel, great to be with you, Microbiology and Immunology UW-Green Bay and we are here to talk to you about COVID-19 and why it matters to you.
You’re a young adult, why should you bother with getting immunized and questioning that why should I bother with this?
We all want to get back to a life that we remember and so in order to do that requires high herd immunity. Given the fact that that’s a collected goal for all of us. Trust the science, it’s sound. These vaccines are safe, they’re efficacious. We are in the fourth quarter with all this, and we need all of you. So, help us all by getting vaccinated, so we can get back to where we want to be. Thank you.
COVID-19 Why it Matters: Video Series:
Introduction with Brian Merkel https://youtu.be/M-yYPSPk30Q
Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from https://youtu.be/DYbiIv8ICgs
Part 2: Two main types of viruses https://youtu.be/O-OVk3rx96s
Part 3: Why is this virus serious? https://youtu.be/EDFyNN8i5G4
Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask? https://youtu.be/FlcAvlt876Y
Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care? https://youtu.be/TDrEV_beY1U
Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start? https://youtu.be/lgWnJZNYbFI
Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask? https://youtu.be/IG3Sl3q-xH8
Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year? https://youtu.be/DGpBFj0fJkA
Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine? https://youtu.be/eQ3FclkYaQo
Part 10: Where can I find accurate information? https://youtu.be/pLMlU5Xnkgo
Part 11: What type of mask should I wear? https://youtu.be/gCFHxQvkVYE
Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin? https://youtu.be/OuqmXvrDApY
Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others https://youtu.be/h21Ed_bBTE4
Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important? https://youtu.be/Fr9VJZZrTE0
Part 15: What are COVID-19 Antibodies? https://youtu.be/J2lfJzoUEHI
Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants? https://youtu.be/5l58jEZv3NQ
Part 17: Vaccine myths vs reality https://youtu.be/bGqLsRRbzVk
Part 18: What is long-hauler syndrome? https://youtu.be/f11b8nFpJiE
Part 19: Spring break, protect yourself against variants https://youtu.be/15ifuIosz2c
Part 20: Vaccine Side Effects https://youtu.be/7n3touy2PUY
Part 21: I’m young, why get vaccinated? https://youtu.be/F3KaBpSUpGo
At 23-years-old, Molly Gwitt is studying for her last year of undergrad as a ceramic major at UW-Green Bay. When classes went fully virtual last March, it took some time to figure out how to go beyond a screen to get art done.
“It was a huge adjustment!,” says Molly Gwitt, “It’s very hands-on, and it’s hard if you don’t have a studio at home, I was working from the kitchen, my mom was mad because I was taking over her kitchen!”
On behalf of Prevea Health, I would like to thank you for allowing Prevea to make a temporary home on your campuses by allowing us to create community COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics. Having taken over your gymnasium spaces on four of your campuses, we appreciate that you sacrificed some of your rec time to allow us the time and space to be able to tackle the next step in this public health crisis. We deeply value our partnership with UW-Green Bay.
With the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announcing that all individuals age 16 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, I would like to strongly encourage you to get yours. Having mass vaccination clinics on your four UW-Green Bay campuses (Green Bay, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Marinette), it should hopefully afford you easy access to getting the vaccine.
The process is extremely easy:
- Visit https://prevea.com/vaccine to view which clinic is administering which vaccine on any given day
- Then, sign up via your MyPrevea account
- If you don’t have one, it’s easy! Instructions are located here: https://www.prevea.com/For-Patients/MyPrevea
- Appointments are required – we do NOT have walk in appointments available
It’s very important to note that for any students under the age of 18, you must receive the Pfizer vaccine and have parent/guardian consent. Those individuals need to call 1-833-344-4373 to schedule.
For those 18 and older, you may receive any of the three vaccines. You can check to see what vaccine is being offered on different days at www.prevea.com/vaccine . When scheduling your vaccine on MyPrevea, you MUST be available 21 or 28 days later for the second dose of your vaccine. There are no exceptions to this.
- If you receive the Pfizer vaccine, your second dose will be 21 days later.
- If you receive the Moderna vaccine, your second dose will be 28 days later.
- If you receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you will only receive one dose.
The semester will be over before you know it – don’t delay in scheduling your vaccine! This way, you can be fully vaccinated by the end of the semester and feel that much more safer going home, knowing that you are protected against the virus.
Wishing you all a fantastic end to the school year.
Dr. Ashok Rai
Prevea Health President and CEO
When Alyssa Ehlke decided she wanted to become a nurse in 2014, she had no idea of the surprises being a student in 2020 would hold.
Now, as a student in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s nursing program, Ehlke is one of the UW-Green Bay nursing students providing Wisconsin residents with COVID-19 vaccines that promise to bring life back to some sort of normal in the midst of a pandemic.
“I think that there’s always a little bit of anxiety when you know there is something that is such an unknown (like the pandemic)… it’s frightening because we’re so needed,” she said. “But then, at the same time, I realized how important the job that you’re going to have is. I think that was the biggest realization to me. It’s like ‘Oh, okay, my job is going to be something that’s going to make a difference.’”
Ehlke, 30, already has a bachelor’s degree in math and psychology, and originally wanted to go into teaching. But after working alongside people in healthcare professions, she realized nursing was what she really wanted to do. Now, as a sophomore nursing student, she is working as a CNA at an assisted living facility while taking classes in the nursing program, doing clinicals at the VA hospital and helping to administer vaccines to veterans who served their country.
“I think we are so fortunate to be able to have that opportunity, which is actually exciting,” she said. “We were told that if it weren’t for pandemic, we would not get the experience of doing all these vaccinations… We’re learning more about applying what we’re learning in classes to real-life situations and what’s going on in the world today.”
Launching a new pre-licensure nursing program in the middle of a pandemic presented challenges to administrators in finding practical hands-on experience for the students, said Christine Vandenhouten, chair of Nursing & Health Studies at UW-Green Bay.
“Many of our counterparts at other nursing programs saw health systems like our local hospitals, reducing the number of students who could be in a given clinical setting by half,” Vandenhouten said. “What that meant was that the educational institutions had to double the number of faculty to teach and find twice as many clinical settings to engage them in clinical learning…
“Planning for this spring semester for traditional programming was particularly challenging because we were faced with the need to create simulated clinical experiences conducted in a skills lab or find twice as many faculty and clinical units to give students the necessary clinical experiences,” she added.
With the approval of the COVID-19 vaccines in the fall, and distribution beginning in the winter, having students assist in administering vaccine helped the program provide students with a unique clinical learning experience.
But it also helps the communities in and around Green Bay. Nursing students are supporting vaccination clinics in Green Bay at Aurora BayCare Medical Center and the Milo C. Huempfner VA Clinic, and in Manitowoc at the Lakeshore Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, Vandenhouten said. Additionally, she is in talks with other communities and health systems to assist their efforts in the future.
Students get academic credit for their participation, as well as real-world experience. In addition, they get a $500 credit towards their tuition if they work 16 hours in the Covid clinics. Vandenhouten said that as of today, 27 of the 34 traditional BSN students have participated in the vaccination program. The Nursing program students will continue working in the vaccination clinics in April with the goal of having all 34 students participate.
Jordan Barnes, 22, who is also working towards her bachelor’s in nursing, said she was excited to learn that she would be volunteering in health care in the middle of the pandemic.
“I was excited when I found out we would have the opportunity to administer COVID-19 vaccines to the public,” she said. “It was an exciting time because every vaccine I administered was one step closer to life going back to normal. I was able to learn the science behind the vaccine and how it works in our body, so I was able to ease the nerves of some patients and make them feel more comfortable with their choice to get the vaccine.”
Barnes started her college career with the goal of getting a degree in Human Development with minors in Psychology and German so she could go into counseling. But in her junior year, she decided she wanted to go into nursing instead to do more for her patients.
“My mom works as a hospice nurse and seeing her compassion as she shares her experiences with me is what really drove me in that direction,” she said.
After graduating with her Human Development degree in December 2020, she started working on her nursing degree. Now, as she works in healthcare settings as part of her training, the experiences, and the pandemic, reinforce her decision.
“I do not think I had any concerns going into nursing school in the middle of a pandemic. If anything, it made me feel like I knew for sure that this is the career path for me. Knowingly walking into what some people may refer to as ‘a disaster’ and continuing says something about that person and what kind of caretaker they will become,” she said.
The most surprising part about the experience, she said, was the reaction of the patients.
“I did not realize how grateful and excited patients would be as they walked into the clinic for their first dose of the vaccine,” she said. “I know that the vaccine is being given in waves and so it is eye opening that people are on waitlists while some people are passing on it when it is made available to them.”
Ehlke, who contracted COVID-19 last year while working at a local long-term care facility as a certified nursing assistant, said reactions to the vaccine fell into one of two categories.
“You have two different spectrums. You get the people who were like, ‘Oh, shoot. How is this going to affect me? Is this going to work? They’re hearing stories about how we’re going be getting a booster so is this really going to be effective?’” she said. “And then you have the people who come in and they’re so excited. They’re like ‘This is just one step forward to us not having to worry about going out in public and catching this virus…’”
Participating in the vaccination effort has been frightening, but fulfilling Ehlke said.
“At first, it was nerve-wracking because, you know, you are administering a shot into someone’s arm, but afterwards, it kind of makes you realize that you’re a part of history,” she said. “My dad contacted me afterwards and said, ‘You know, you will one day look back on this and realize that you are doing something that not many people will ever get to experience.’ This is something that is going to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives. And like I said, that’s kind of the reason why I wanted to go into nursing in the first place.”
By freelance writer Liz Carey
Photos by UW-Green Bay’s Michael Shaw and Christine Vandenhouten
Cover photo: Nursing student Precious Vang.
MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) – A community COVID-19 vaccination clinic will open at the UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc campus.Prevea Health says the clinic, located at 705 Viebahn St., will open March 29. Shots will be given inside Hillside Hall.The clinic will be open to all people eligible to get the vaccine in Wisconsin. Not sure if you’re eligible? CLICK HERE for the full list.Appointments are required. Prevea says people can sign up at https://www.prevea.com/For-Patients/COVID-19-Vaccine-Resources. You do not have to be a Prevea patient to get the vaccine at the clinic. Scheduling is now open.
Appointments now available at myprevea.com
Manitowoc, Wis.—A Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic is opening in Manitowoc at UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus, 705 Viebahn St., inside Hillside Hall on Monday, March 29.
The Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all community members eligible for the vaccine under the vaccination prioritization guidelines set by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Appointments are required and appointment availability is dependent on available vaccine supply provided by DHS.
How to make an appointment
The fastest way to get an appointment scheduled is with MyPrevea. Visit www.myprevea.com to set up an account at no cost. You do not have to be a Prevea patient to sign up for a MyPrevea account or to make an appointment for a vaccination. MyPrevea is also available as an app on any smartphone or other device. If you do not have access or are unable to use the internet, Prevea has a toll-free number dedicated to COVID-19 vaccination questions and information: 1 (833) 344 – 4373.
Having trouble, or still have questions?
Visit www.prevea.com/vaccine for information on Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic locations, vaccination eligibility, how to create a MyPrevea account, how to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination and more.
Prevea Health also currently operates community COVID-19 vaccination clinics at UW-Green Bay campuses in Green Bay, Sheboygan and Marinette; at Jacob’s Well Church in Chippewa Falls; and at other sites throughout Wisconsin pending vaccine supply. Again, appointments are required at all locations and appointment availability is dependent on available vaccine supply provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
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About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across Northern, Eastern and Western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 8,970 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 79,604 continuing education enrollees each year across all campus locations. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2020, UW-Green Bay was the fastest growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.
Prevea Health says it will operate the clinic on the UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus. The first day of operation is Monday.