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Midwest Health preps facilities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution



TOPEKA, Kan. – Midwest Health is preparing its senior living facilities for the vaccine with health care workers and nursing home residents getting top priority.

Midwest Health is working with Walgreens and CVS to distribute the vaccine to its senior living facilities, and they could possibly see distribution by the end of the month.

“So, what we’re doing is exactly what they’re telling us to do. They’re giving us play by play instructions,” Midwest Health Marketing Director, Ali Ellis explains. “You will receive a phone call to confirm your clinic dates and times. You will need to provide us a room, a cart, and a power outlet. So, our teams are busy saying this is the room we’re going to use.”

“We have power access in here, and we are ready to go. Like a library, some of our communities have those designated spaces, and we’ll be using those as this is vaccination headquarters,” she continued.

Midwest Health says it expects to receive enough vaccine to cover all its facilities, including Homestead of Topeka, Peggy Kelly House and Pioneer Ridge in Topeka.

“In total, Midwest Health manages communities, 65 of them across 5 states,” Ellis said. “It’s going to be about 5,000 doses. We have a little over 2,500 seniors that live in our facilities and we have a little over 2,500 employees.”

“The skilled nursing and the assisted living. It’s both the staff and the residents and our understanding is we don’t need to pick one or the other, that there’s enough doses to cover both of those,” she added.

Midwest Health also is working to meet challenges.

“How do we keep this, this cold? We don’t have super deep freezes,” Ellis emphasized. So, I think great solutions have been found to those challenges, because CVS is saying they’re fully responsible for the chain of custody for this vaccine.”

Midwest Health says they’re grateful the CDC and KDHE made their residents and staff a priority, So hopefully families will soon see their loved ones again.

“First step is vaccination, you have to have dose A, and dose B, and then an evaluation period, but it is optimism at play here. We could foresee a future, in which we don’t have nearly the restrictions that we have today,” Ellis said.