WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) - Thank you is never enough for all the work our healthcare workers have done in this pandemic, especially with the state's vaccine rollout.

It's been a common sight in 2021, a community center turned into a vaccination clinic.

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Hartford HealthCare nurses Joanne Kombert and Katie McKernan do five to six of vaccine clinics a week on top of homebound vaccinations.

The prep for these clinics start weeks in advance, checking the space to determine not only how to set up the clinic, but how to make it a welcoming place.

"The ones that we have left are the ones that are hesitant and a lot of times, there needs to be a lot of dialogue and communication to figure out why. Even coming here, some people coming here, they come here, they're not even sure they're going to get the shot yet," Kombert tells us.

Underserved communities have been the target of these clinics.

Yes, to get them protected against COVID-19, but to get more communities connected in a healthcare system.

Chris Colabrese finds for many of the patients he checks in, this is their first time getting some kind of health care.

"At the end of the day, you're starting to create new profiles for what will be new patients, right? And that's so important when you hear about access across our system. That's us increasing access," Colabrese said.

Really, for these three, the clinics go beyond COVID-19.

It's about creating that bridge so more people get medical help when needed.

"For us to keep getting out there and try to connect with these communities, it's going to help us in the future, because if you're not listening to us when we say get a vaccine during this horrible pandemic when people are dying, what other things are we telling you that you need that you aren't getting?" asked McKernan.

Their commitment to the communities they serve got all three a gift from the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad.


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