Stuttgart DoDEA nurses volunteer for flu campaign

Jessica Tackaberry
Mar 18, 2024
Stuttgart DoDEA nurses volunteer for flu campaign

The Army Health Clinic Stuttgart, in collaboration with the American Red Cross and DODEA Europe, successfully vaccinated approximately 9,000 individuals within the Stuttgart military community. This included service members (both active duty and reservists), civilians, contractors, and their families. The Red Cross volunteers and DODEA nurses actively participated in the vaccination campaign, offering their time and expertise to make it a huge success. Despite the challenges of vaccinating such a large number of people within a few hours, the team worked together to ensure that everyone was vaccinated safely and efficiently.

Bonnie Kerr (right), school nurse at Stuttgart Elementary, participated in multiple after-school events, often staying until it was time to pack up. She is presented with an award from Priscilla Hobbs (left), the public health nurse at the Army Health Clinic-Stuttgart.

During the 2023-2024 Influenza Campaign, most vaccine events were scheduled over two months (October and November) to accommodate work and school schedules. They also offered vaccines during the Stuttgart Retiree Appreciation Event. The military treatment facility (MTF) made it a priority to offer vaccines at various times and locations across the four bases that comprise USAG Stuttgart — Patch Barracks, Panzer Kaserne, Kelley Barracks, and Robinson Barracks. Vaccines were available in schools, fitness centers, the Swabian Center, the Patch theater, and various unit locations to make it easy for everyone to access them.

Stuttgart DoDEA nurses volunteer for flu campaign

“I was pleasantly surprised when I received an award and some beautiful flowers from Priscilla Hobbs, the public health nurse, and the Army Health Clinic-Stuttgart. I volunteered for many of the flu clinics we had and enjoyed helping families and children in getting their mandatory flu vaccines. For my students at Stuttgart Elementary School, I also was able to capture the completed vaccine cards so parents didn’t have to send copies, or emails, or need to do one more step to get the documentation to the school. My administration, Ms. Moss-Beaman and Dr. Thomson, were supportive of this time I volunteered,” stated Bonnie Kerr, school nurse at Stuttgart Elementary School.

Influenza, commonly known as the “flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It has the potential to impact DoD force readiness and mission execution, making it crucial to protect everyone in the military community from influenza and its complications. The influenza campaign aimed to do just that by offering “shots on wheels” and transporting hundreds of vaccines and supplies to various locations. This made it easy for everyone in the community to get vaccinated and stay healthy.

Stuttgart DoDEA nurses volunteer for flu campaign

Chris Isom, school nurse at Robinson Barracks Elementary Middle School, hosted two evening events at the school, recruiting help from the school staff to assist with crowd control and administrative duties.

The team's hard work and dedication is truly inspiring. They went above and beyond to ensure that everyone in the military community had access to the vaccine. Their efforts have not only protected the community from the flu but also strengthened the sense of unity and camaraderie within the community. Their commitment to serving others is a true testament to the values of the military community.

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