Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia
Students and faculty from DePaul’s School of Nursing (SON) are working with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to administer Covid-19 vaccinations around the city.
SON Director and Chief Nursing Officer Dr. Suling Li said she was invited by the city in December to attend a meeting to explore the university’s interest in having students and faculty participate in the vaccination campaign.
“I was very excited to hear about this initiative and immediately responded with a yes,” Li said. “With the support of the [College of Science and Health], we then established the partnership agreement between DePaul and the city and called out for faculty and students to participate. Nursing faculty and students responded enthusiastically to the call.”
According to Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Raegan Quandt, 163 students and 36 faculty members initially signed up for the program. Students and faculty were notified via email about the program and registered with a sign-up genius.
“[They volunteered] for four-hour volunteer time slots through a seven week time period,” Quandt said. “However, the CDPH changed their request to eight hour shifts. To accommodate this request, we had to recomplete our sign-ups for both faculty and students using sign-up genius.”
She added a similar process will be used to register interested individuals for spring and summer quarter vaccination efforts.
Quandt said 107 students and 15 faculty members have been administering vaccinations throughout the quarter after the new sign-ups were completed.
The program distributes volunteers around the city, specifically at Harry Truman College, Malcom X College, Richard Dailey College and the AVI Institute.
Li said students are supervised by a student-to-faculty ratio of no more than 10 students per group, and that the most memorable part of the experience thus far has been the reaction from participating students and faculty.
“Students [have] really enjoyed being part of this historical endeavor and also felt that they have learned a great deal from the experience,” Li said.
Corin Hill, president of DePaul’s Nursing Association is among the student volunteers.
“There was a sense of relief that came across people as soon as I put the band-aid on their arm,” Hill said in a press release. “It’s giving people hope that we are moving forward to a new normal.”
Quandt said the SON contract with CDPH runs through July.
“We will look at extending this contract depending on the needs of the community and city,” Quandt said. “We will be continuing our volunteer efforts to support Covid vaccination throughout the community for the next two academic quarters.”
“We have just touched the surface of our commitment to assisting the CDPH in vaccinating the community,” she added. “…Although, we have only been actively participating in this endeavor for the past four, almost five weeks, our faculty and students are dedicated to serving the community.”