744 Lakers receive COVID-19 vaccine at GVSU clinic

Haley Metz, a graduate student in the Physician Assistant Studies program, administers the COVID-19 vaccine.
Haley Metz, a graduate student in the Physician Assistant Studies program, administers the COVID-19 vaccine.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

Officials said 744 members of the Grand Valley community, most of whom were GVSU students, received the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic held in the Fieldhouse on the Allendale Campus. Metro Health sponsored the April 16 clinic. 

Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for health at Grand Valley, said students and faculty from the Physician Assistant Studies program, along with faculty from the Kirkhof College of Nursing, assisted members of the National Guard and Ottawa County Department of Public Health in giving shots of the Pfizer vaccine.

Katie Branch, director of simulation, said the clinic was a successful collaboration with community partners, including Metro Health, the National Guard, Ottawa County Department of Public of Health and the campus community.

“It was a smooth process, organized and very well run,” said Branch. “We had several GVSU students serve in non-clinical roles to help make the clinic run efficiently. We were able to get people in and out so they could go about their day.”

GVSU student Denzel Braswell gets the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Fieldhouse.
GVSU student Denzel Braswell gets the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Fieldhouse.
Valerie Hendrickson
Jake Marg, assistant athletic director, receives his first dose of vaccine from a member of the National Guard.
Jake Marg, assistant athletic director, receives his first dose of vaccine from a member of the National Guard.
Valerie Hendrickson
Clementine Sikiri, a social work graduate student, said she was grateful to have access to the vaccine..
Clementine Sikiri, a graduate student in the School of Social Work, said she was grateful to have access to the vaccine.
Valerie Hendrickson

Student Denzel Braswell said he was happy to get the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. “This was very professionally done. It was easy,” he said.

Katelyn Solmes, a sophomore and psychology major, said getting the vaccine was the right thing to do. “I feel like it’s the best thing for the community and for me personally. Everyone helped guide me through the process,” she said.

Clementine Sikiri, a graduate student in the School of Social Work, said she is grateful to have access to the vaccine. “My experience was wonderful,” she said. “I appreciate the support and how organized the clinic was run.”

Haley Metz and Alyssa Burke are two of the graduate students in the Physician Assistant Studies program who helped administer shots. Metz said it was nice to have more patient care contact after being on Zoom with lectures. Burke said it was a valuable opportunity.

“It’s been a great experience gaining more clinical experience and making a difference in these times, being able to give COVID vaccinations,” Burke said.

Jake Marg, assistant athletic director, said he got the vaccine to protect his family, himself, his coworkers and students.

 “I work in athletics here at Grand Valley so I’m around all of our athletic events,” said Marg. “I think it’s important to try to project myself in those situations and also make sure that I’m around so our students and athletes can continue to compete so I can be there to support those events.”

Alyssa Burke, a student in the Physician Assistant Studies program, helps administer the Pfizer vaccine.
Alyssa Burke, a student in the Physician Assistant Studies program, helps administer the Pfizer vaccine.
Valerie Hendrickson
Members of the National Guard helped administer the Pfizer vaccine at the GVSU clinic held in the Fieldhouse.
Members of the National Guard helped administer the Pfizer vaccine at the GVSU clinic held in the Fieldhouse.
Valerie Hendrickson