Jeanie Larson, Taya Fosland and Kelli Nelson share many things in common: multiple nursing degrees, extensive experience in health care (an impressive 52 years combined), and great big hearts dedicated to caring for others.
Their work in Aetna’s Clinical Claims Review (CCR) department keeps them in the office where they play an important role reviewing medical records. Although they rarely provide direct patient care, they know the dire circumstances COVID-19 has created, especially for vulnerable seniors and staff in long-term care. So, when CVS Health called for nurses to help, they passed on their Martin Luther King Jr. holiday plans with family and traveled 115 miles from their homes near Bismarck, North Dakota to provide vaccinations at the Minot Health and Rehab nursing home.
“We administered 70 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, even to patients who were physically bed bound,” recollects Jeanie, who described the day as one filled with excitement and nervousness. “After hearing about so much tragedy and disruption from COVID, I wanted to do something positive to give back to my community.”
“We aren’t just supporting patients and staff in long-term care, we are easing the burden on other health care professionals who’ve been working with hardly a break for months and are burning out,” adds Kelli.
“The biggest challenge for me in the pandemic has been feeling helpless. I had the skills but didn’t have an opportunity to apply them in this way until now,” explains Taya. “I’m so thankful for the leadership that called for our assistance and for my amazing managers who’ve been so flexible.”
All three nurses have signed up to administer vaccinations at additional clinics in the coming weeks and Kelli and Jeanie will be returning to administer the second dose of the vaccine at the Minot facility.
“We are so proud that Taya, Jeanie, Kellie and so many Aetna nurses took the initiative and responded to the call. It truly shows their commitment to the profession and the health of their communities,” says Debra Hicks, Senior Director, Clinical Claims Review.
“My step-father had cancer and was moved to a skilled nursing facility,” shares Taya. “He passed away a week after arriving and I couldn’t be by his side. It was devastating. Today, I feel a huge relief to be part of a solution that is helping families reunite with their loved ones. We all feel that way.”
“It’s humbling,” says Jeanie.
Heart At Work recognizes CVS Health heroes across the country who bring their hearts to work, helping people on their path to better health. Read their stories, watch their videos and celebrate our CVS Health Heart At Work heroes along with us!