Answering the call for testing
On a cold, drizzling day in March, dozens of CVS colleagues gathered in the Shrewsbury, Massachusetts CVS Pharmacy parking lot. Suited up in protective gear, they included pharmacists, MinuteClinic providers and Omnicare nurses — all specially trained to serve at the nation’s first retail drive-through COVID-19 testing site for first responders, law enforcement and health care workers.
Among them is Katie Rutt, a MinuteClinic Family Nurse Practitioner and Senior Practice Manager. Katie is accustomed to treating patients but this day would be different. The dire need for testing, especially for first responders, was being answered and Katie, without hesitation, had volunteered.
“We’re providing a much needed service to the community, and I’m so proud to be here,” offered Katie, who had woken up hours earlier – leaving her new 6-month-old baby and 3-year-old toddler tucked safely in bed.
Katie’s decision, and that of other CVS Health colleagues, to be on the frontline made a big impression on Dale Coulter. A nurse at a detox hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dale was among the first to be tested that day. “I just want to get well and return to work,” she explained, struggling to speak clearly through flu-like symptoms. “My patients’ needs are great and CVS has given me a chance to get peace of mind.”
“Katie always goes above and beyond for every patient, treating them with kindness and compassion. She makes them feel like they are family,” explains Tara Allain, a MinuteClinic Senior Practice Manager, who also played an instrumental role at the first CVS Health-run testing site.
As the first day of CVS Health-assisted testing wraps up, it’s nearly dark and workers are tired and ready to head home to rest for the next day. Katie looks forward to hugging her little ones. In the days to come, Katie will be part of the CVS Health team in Lowell, Massachusetts, providing up to 1,000 a day on-the-spot COVID-19 testing to the public.
“I don't think any of us in a million years could have anticipated this pandemic,” she says as she carefully doffs her medical gown. “My strength, energy, and inspiration come from the people I surround myself with,” she says, pointing to the team nearby. “They inspire me.”
And you inspire us, Katie. Thanks to you and all the CVS Health colleagues who bring their hearts to work to help others as we face the challenges of COVID-19 together.