On Friday, January 8th, The Wayne County Health Department hosted two COVD-19 Pfizer vaccine clinics at our Oakmont Northville and Oakmont Livonia communities. The culmination of months of planning, the groundwork of hosting these clinics began back in late 2020 when the State of Michigan announced their Vaccination Prioritization List for distribution of the newly approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Because Oakmont Communities are home to a large group of seniors, both Oakmont Livonia and Oakmont Northville were included in Vaccination Prioritization Group 1A – the first such group to be targeted for inoculation in the state-wide vaccination campaign.
As two of the first senior communities to be selected for a scheduled vaccine clinic conducted by the Wayne County Health Department, Oakmont staff at the community and corporate level mobilized quickly to distribute and disseminate information, confirm eligibility, and educate our residents and staff on what to expect as the day of the clinic approached.
Both vaccine clinics were conducted with maximum efficiency and efficacy to ensure all residents and staff members who were due to be inoculated were comfortable, safely socially distanced, and ready to receive the vaccination when it was their turn. Residents and staff were arranged in small groups based on their apartment location in the building and brought to our largest common area, the dining room, in staggered time slots. This allowed residents to remain seated and comfortable while waiting in line for their names to be called.
Once called to the front of the line by volunteers from Balanced Home Care, The Weston Group, and Oakmont, residents and staff were taken to a private nursing station where either Amy or Kim, two exceptional nurses from the Wayne County Health Department, consulted each vaccine candidate on a few questions about past experience and allergies. Once it was confirmed that it was safe for the vaccine to be administered, Amy and Kim did so with compassion and skill – ensuring all vaccinations were quick and relatively painless.
After being inoculated, all residents and staff were monitored for a period of 15 minutes to confirm that no side or ill effects from the vaccine would come to light. Tables were arranged in a socially distanced manner with individual timers, refreshments, and volunteers on hand to see to any need that may have arisen. Monitoring locations were also sanitized between every use. Once it was confirmed that there were no adverse reactions, residents were allowed to return to their apartments.
The vaccine clinics at both Oakmont Northville and Oakmont Livonia were a rousing success. More than 200 residents and staff received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with very few noticeable side effects. A second dose will be administered in a similar fashion in three weeks. This effort is the first in a process that will see the entire state, and one day, the entire world protected from a virus that has already impacted the lives of millions of Americans across our country.
To our residents, staff, and volunteers; to the Wayne County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; to the many scientists and doctors who made this life-saving venture ready in record time, we say a heartfelt “Thank You.”
Wishing all extended members of our Oakmont Family a very happy, safe, and joyful new year. Though 2020 presented all of us with some unprecedented challenges, we couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of our residents, families, staff, and community members to keep each other safe and well. Here’s to a wonderful 2021 together with those we love!
Oakmont Senior Communities is proud to announce that Oakie, a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog trained to assist veterans of the United States Military with the daily tasks of living, has been donated by Oakmont and recently paired with a mid-Michigan Marine named Randy.
Residents, staff, and families from Oakmont’s five area independent and enhanced senior communities raised $25,000 through small fundraisers over the past 15 months to help facilitate Oakie’s no-cost adoption and the relationship between dog and owner couldn’t be going better.
“He’s just been with me a few days, but he’s already helped me a lot,” said Randy, a veteran who was honorably discharged in 1997 and went on to serve as a firefighter. “He’s young but he’s my type of guy,” Randy said, “He’s a great guy.”
Oakie, a German Shepard that was one of the quickest dogs in Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs history to graduate into service, was given his unique name via an Oakmont-wide naming contest held by residents and staff in late 2019. Among many great suggestions, Oakie was the clear winner and it’s a perfect fit for the Shepard’s upbeat personality.
“This is such a worthwhile cause,” said Sharon, a resident of Oakmont Parkway and a dog lover who helped fundraise for Oakmont Cares in her community. “These men need these dogs and these dogs are trained especially for them. I think it’s just wonderful what these dogs do.”
“The credit goes to our residents, community staff members, and our exceptionally generous ownership who have worked hard to makes sure we met our fundraising goals – even in these most trying of times,” said Michele Walny, Oakmont’s Regional Manager. “Through small fundraisers like raffles, themed meals, bake sales, book sales, and more, our Oakmont family was able to raise an incredible amount of money to help a Michigan veteran which is something we all feel so positive about – especially Oakie, who is as happy as can be with his new best friend.”
Oakie is the second Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog sponsored by Oakmont residents and staff via the Oakmont Cares program. In 2017, Oakmont raised money to sponsor the adoption of Whiskey – a medical service dog that was paired with Steve, a veteran of the United States Army during the Gulf War. Since their pairing at a ceremony in late 2017, Steve and Whiskey have thrived – building a bond that brings them both comfort and joy.
Each year, all Oakmont Communities participate in a charitable Oakmont Cares effort. In 2018, $12,000 was raised to support the recovery of Oakland Country Sheriff’s Deputy David Hack. In 2017, $22,000 was raised to train and adopt a medical service dog for a Michigan veteran.