By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – Mayor Joseph Kuspa praised Oak Street Health April 7 for providing COVID-19 vaccines for homebound people who risk being exposed to the virus through caregivers and family members.
He said Oak Street Health, 13667 Eureka Road, has gone above and beyond to assist with the inoculation of homebound people, and he praised Manager Jason Jordan for finding a way to transport and administer the vaccines to private homes, where the recipients were reportedly both grateful and relieved.
“Ever since locating in Southgate, Oak Street Health has been a viable and valuable community partner, and this latest action is to be commended,” Kuspa said. “The only way we will make it through the ramifications of this pandemic is to work together, and Oak Street Health is a shining example of providing support when it is most needed.”
Azsha Matthews, 32, of Southgate, a family nurse practitioner with Oak Street Health, said she went to seven or eight homebound people on behalf of her employer to administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
She said one man recently had a stroke, and in another situation, a woman recently had been in a crash, and could only be transported by ambulance.
“They have to keep her neck steady, so she can’t leave her home unless she is in an ambulance,” Matthews said. “I had another patient who was mobile, but it was very difficult for him to get out of the house.”
She said the patients and their families were grateful for the home vaccination, which has been a somewhat overlooked dilemma.
“A lot of them still wanted to be vaccinated because they have home care people coming in and out of their home, and their family still comes to visit them,” Matthews said. “They just wanted to be protected.”
She said some of the family members had been searching for months to find someone who could provide an in-home vaccination, and she credits Kuspa with linking homebound patients with them.
“It was so rewarding,” Matthews said. “Any provider can tell you that there becomes a little bit of a routine with providing care, and not everyone is as grateful.
“When you first come out of school, you are so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and you just want to help everyone, and going out and vaccinating people, they are just so grateful, and it feels good, because you feel like you are making a difference. These are people who were looking for help, they were asking for help, and they were just kind of forgotten about.”
She said talking to the homebound patients during the 15-minute wait, to ensure that they didn’t have a reaction to the vaccine, was interesting as well.
“Learning about the (homebound) population was really cool,” Matthews said.
Those seeking a vaccination for a homebound patient may contact Oak Street Health at 734-530-6747 during business hours.