Academics

Healthcare students continue serving on front lines of pandemic

March 25, 2021

Liberty University has been an ongoing community partner in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and assisting with the vaccine rollout locally.

Liberty University osteopathic medical students and nursing students stand outside the Central Virginia Family Physicians in Forest, Va., on Jan. 23, where they volunteered to monitor patients who received COVID-19 vaccinations at a community clinic. (Photo by Chris Breedlove)

In addition to their regularly required training in clinical settings as front-line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Liberty’s nursing students and medical students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) have been volunteering at community clinics where vaccines are being administered. At off-campus clinics, they have helped by distributing CDC information, assisting patients with forms, and monitoring patients for any post-COVID-19 allergic reactions.

Following the guidelines for vaccine rollout phases set in place by the CDC, Liberty held a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Vines Center on March 4, offering free doses for up to 1,200 eligible university employees and employees of Sodexo, Liberty’s dining services provider. Eligible employees included essential workers and those over 65 years old. Volunteers from the School of Nursing, LUCOM, and the School of Health Sciences helped in supportive roles. Nursing students helped administer the injections.

A School of Nursing student administers the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in the Vines Center on March 4. (Photo by Ellie Richardson)

A major show of support came in February when, under the direction of President Jerry Prevo, Liberty offered retail space, rent-free, at the nearby Candlers Station Shopping Center (the former T.J. Maxx) to be used for a larger, central vaccination clinic for Lynchburg and the surrounding areas.

“During this unprecedented time in the field of medicine, we are truly blessed to be surrounded by talented people and community partners,” said Dr. Scott Hicks, provost and chief academic officer. “Keith Anderson, our executive director of Student Health Center and Wellness Initiatives, has worked with our friends at the Virginia Department of Health, Centra, and CVFP to ensure that we remain informed and action-oriented concerning the status of COVID-19 and vaccine rollouts. Due to their collaborative efforts, Liberty has been able to mobilize caring students and dedicated clinical faculty to assist in meeting the needs of Liberty, the broader Lynchburg community, Southside Virginia, various other states, and countries. It is truly our privilege to be in the position to serve and support.”

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