LAS VEGAS, December 16, 2020 – Health care professionals at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in southern Nevada will begin receiving injections of the new COVID vaccine, following the delivery of drug vials by the Southern Nevada Health District this morning.
Immediately prior to the first injections, leaders from the hospitals’ Mission Integration & Spiritual Care Departments will pause to conduct blessings over each vaccination site, the vaccinators, and those receiving the COVID vaccine. As the region’s only faith-based, not-for-profit hospital, the brief ceremony upholds the more than 70-year mission and tradition of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in southern Nevada.
Following the blessing, the first vaccinations will be administered to the first tier of St. Rose Dominican health professionals identified as working at significant exposure risk due to their positions and locations within the hospitals. CDC guidelines indicate the vaccine should be administered first to health care workers, including those most at risk for exposure to COVID-19, such as first responders and employees and patients in Long-Term Acute Care centers and other similar facilities.
Sister Phyllis Sikora, O.P., Vice President of Mission Integration for Dignity Health Nevada, will conduct the blessing at the Rose de Lima Campus. Sister Phyllis is a member of the Adrian Dominican Order, which founded the original Rose de Lima hospital in Henderson in 1947. She said the blessing offered today will extend to and represent all who administer or receive the vaccine in the coming weeks.
Sister Phyllis said of the caregivers receiving the first injections, “They are all heroes in our eyes, continuing to care for and comfort our patients through their fear and pain. We are so grateful that the scientists and manufacturers have used their God-given gifts to develop this much needed vaccine for all of us. When I watched the first semi-trucks leave Pfizer’s factory in Michigan, I found myself in tears knowing that our staff would soon be receiving the shots. We will hold them all in our prayers.”
Employee vaccinations are scheduled to begin Wednesday afternoon at the St. Rose Dominican Siena and Rose de Lima Campuses. Employee vaccinations will begin Thursday at the San Martín Campus.
About Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican
As the community’s only not-for-profit, faith-based health system, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican has been guided by the vision and core values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters since 1947. As the Henderson and Las Vegas communities grow, the St. Rose Dominican health system and its nearly 4,000 employees will continue the Sisters’ mission of serving people in need. St. Rose Dominican is a member of the multi-state Dignity Health network of nearly 10,000 physicians, 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, and primary care clinics. For more information, visit our website at www.strosehospitals.org. Dignity Health was recently recognized as part of Forbes’ annual list of America’s Best-In-State Employers 2020, as one of the top ten best employers in Nevada.