Kingsbrook Jewish Transition Committee Aids COVID Vaccine EffortMay 12, 2021
Workers at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, already involved in the institution’s transition into the One Brooklyn Health System, are now also supporting the facility’s community vaccination program.
“They asked us to jump in (to the vaccination program) the weekend before the Martin Luther King holiday,” says Transition Committee member Sharon Rostant-Debique.
Up to then, the Committee had been focused exclusively on the collective effort and institutional change necessary for bringing Kingsbrook into the One Brooklyn System. (See the January/February issue of 1199 Magazine for details.) But then COVID-19 halted much of this work.
“We have no control over COVID, so we just got to work on the vaccine effort,” says Rostant-Debique.
Committee members have been doing everything from community outreach to helping patients fill out their vaccination paperwork.
Members say the work has been fulfilling and are thrilled by the community’s positive response to the vaccination rollout.
Behavioral Health Aide Denise St. Bernard says she has been more than happy to make such a difference in the Kingsbrook community.
“It’s been a really wonderful experience,” she says. “The Black community needs more education and conversation around the vaccines because people still have a lot of reservations about taking them. Doing this work, I was able to talk to people and connect them with clinicians and professionals like pharmacists who could explain things and address their concerns. I was also one of the first people to be vaccinated because of an underlying condition I have.”