It’s a Wrap: Community Vaccination Efforts at 1275 Broadway End on a High Note

All good things must come to an end. After an historic debut as the first community Covid-19 vaccination site in the Capital Region, a powerhouse effort at 1275 Broadway, in Albany, administered its final shot in the arm on Friday, Feb. 26.

“It’s been bittersweet,” Cathy Pallozzi, assistant vice president of Hospital Access and Registration, said of the effort, which was operated by Albany Medical Center, which is also serving as the leader of the Capital Region Vaccine Network. “We have loved this work and we will miss the energy. If we had $100 for every time someone expressed gratitude or joy, we’d be debtless. But it is time to pass the mantle on to the University at Albany.”

With the large UAlbany site opening—and the likelihood that members of the community will soon be able to receive the vaccine at their doctor’s offices—“it was time for us to get back to our main mission of serving patients,” said Pamela Jones, MSN, RN, director of Joint Commission Accreditation and Certification, who, along with Pallozzi, was tapped to coordinate efforts at 1275.

The clinic opened on Dec. 23 to serve first responders—EMS workers, firefighters and police, among them—and then transitioned to vaccinating members of the community who fell within Tier 1A of New York State’s phased distribution plan. All told, the team at 1275 Broadway administered 19,204 doses of vaccine.

“This didn’t take a village,” Pallozzi said. “It took a city.” Albany Medical Center departments came out in force, among them Pharmacy, Security, Pre-Hospital and Operational Services, Patient Access, Revenue Cycle Leadership, Volunteer Services, Facility Management, Hospital Business Services, Supply Chain, practice and hospital training teams, and clinicians and staff deployed from practice sites.

“Information Services was amazing,” Jones said. “They built out a registration system for us. And I was grateful for the Medical Reserve Corps, who did such fine work alongside us as vaccinators and freed up our much needed clinical staff to focus on taking care of hospitalized patients.”

On the clinic’s last day, Kathy Staley-Ross, MSN, RN, systems director for Supply Chain, administered a second dose to her daughter, Brianna Staley-Ross, BSN, RN, a former Albany Medical Center nurse now working at the CNY Fertility Center.

After administering Brianna’s first dose, Staley-Ross said, she felt happy and grateful for the opportunity to protect her daughter, and she went about her day. It was only later, when she saw a post on Brianna’s Facebook page—“It’s not every day you get to make history with your mom”—that the moment’s full impact hit her.

“I must admit, it teared me up,” she said. “The memory of this clinic will stay with me forever. Am I happy there was a pandemic? No. But I’m so happy I got to be a part of this first, great push toward the finish line.”