OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The system, the process, the time, and communication are all being hailed as a well-oiled machine.
”We were really blessed because we have this ambulatory care center. We were able to take a whole pod or clinic and devote it strictly to doing vaccinations. That really helped us,” said Julie Rickert, associate director of Operations for VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. “People can be inside, we have 12 exam rooms where people can get shots, a conference room, and in the middle where they can do the recovery area. So that has been a blessing."
The veterans are in and out in approximately 30 minutes.
”Whoever is in charge, the trickle-down effect really shows what they are doing for the veterans. The organization that they have, the skills of the technicians, everything is phenomenal. I have never had one complaint with this VA,” said Air Force veteran Todd Herring.
Things have been going so well at this Veterans Hospital, they have already opened up vaccinations to those 65 and younger.
With more than half of area veterans vaccinated, they are now reaching out to the community looking for veterans not registered with them.
“I would say to veterans if you wanted that vaccination, the veteran's office wants to provide that service for you," adds Rickert.
Along with coming to the VA clinic to get your shot, they will also come to you if you have mobility issues or transportation problems.
”It is awesome, our staff is always saying it is not that we have to do this, we get to do this, we feel like it is historic,” said Jim Jenkins, emergency manager at VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. “We are a part of history, the veterans come in and they are happy to get it, the staff are very proud to give it. It’s a great synergy all day, every day.”
On any given day they can have up to 30 employees on the floor helping veterans navigate the system.
“I will continue to do everything that I have been doing, but I will have that peace of mind in the back of my head that I have been vaccinated," said Floyd Williams, a vaccinated veteran.
They prefer that you make an appointment so they can space everyone out but you can just walk up.
The Omaha VA Medical Center is at 42nd and Woolworth. To make an appointment, visit their website at va.gov or call 402-995-4050.