Rural Missouri - May 2021 - 8

RM | COMMUNITY

Caring for Community

When the call for help comes, Black River answers
by Heather Berry | hberry@ruralmissouri.coop
photos courtesy Black River Electric Cooperative

In addition to the previously mentioned agencies, the
Madison County health administrator says the event
wouldn't have been successful without the assistance of
a committed group of doctors, retired medical personnel,
hen Madison County Health Department
nursing students, local sheriff's department, Madison
Administrator Becky Hunt received the call
Medical Center, Madison County Ambulance District, Misfrom her Regional Implementation Team led
souri Department of Transportation as well as the local
by the Butler County Health Department,
rural electric cooperative.
Becky's own department immediately organized a massive
In normal co-op style, Black River Electric's employees
community outreach. The team's goal is to coordinate
supported the effort, going above and beyond hosting the
all COVID efforts in Region E with the focus on vaccine
vaccination event. The employees worked together to predistribution among local and public health partners.
pare a meal for the 70 workers helping out that day, even
" The State Emergency Management Agency regional ofproviding snacks and beverages as needed.
fice said our county was targeted as an area in need of additional vaccine allocations, " Becky says. " They had 1,000
The community vaccine outreach, which began at 10
doses for us to distribute and our goal was to get people
a.m., saw cars lined up and ready to roll as soon as the
there to receive them. "
clinic opened. Becky says she expected everyone to be
The Madison County Health Department partnered with
there well into the afternoon, but the clinic was wrapped
the agencies to host a mass COVID-19 driveup by 2 p.m. with everything packed away and cleaned
thru vaccination clinic in Fredericktown on
up soon after.
March 5. One major piece of the puzzle was
Bruce Miller, a retired Black River Electric employee,
finding a location big enough for people to drive
received his vaccination at the clinic. He was even
through while keeping roads clear and safe for
happier that his 85-year-old mother, Dolly, was able
those living in the community.
to receive her vaccine, too. As a kidney transplant
recipient, Dolly will now be able to leave her
" Black River Electric Cooperative is located along
Fredericktown
home confidently since she has had her vaccine.
Highway 72 in Fredericktown and seemed like a
perfect location for this vaccine clinic, " Becky says.
" Mother has basically been at home since
Working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol,
last March, " Bruce notes, adding she didn't
the team decided the co-op would be the location to ask -
even venture out for medical appointments.
and Black River Electric was happy to answer the call.
" My sister had tried to get her signed up for the vaccine everywhere without success, " he adds. " But when she
Assisting the community isn't a new concept to coheard about the clinic being held at the co-op, she was
operatives. One of the seven co-op principles includes
able to get her on the list. "
" Concern for Community, " a principle which Black River
Bruce adds the entire process took less than an hour
Electric happily does for the members and area it serves.
for his sister and mother, making it a smooth experience
" Our Board of Directors was happy to offer our campus
from start to finish.
for this important event, " says BREC General Manager John
" Mom's ecstatic because she realizes she can now go to
Singleton. " Events like this remind us why we are here. "
the store or church again, " he adds.
After the location was locked in, Becky and her dediIn events such as this one, it's partnering with comcated staff of 15 got on the phone to contact the more than
munity that makes things go smoothly, bringing hope for
600 people who were signed up on the county waitlist to
brighter days.
receive the COVID-19 vaccine. By the end of the week, her
" Black River Electric has always been a fabulous partstaff had contacted everyone.
ner, " Becky adds. " They're always just a phone call away. "
" It takes a village to get something like this done, but
when you combine efforts with people who are committed
For more information on the Madison County Health
to the same goal, it's a great thing, " says Becky.
Department, visit www.madisoncountymohealth.com. To
Of the 1,000 vaccines the local health department was
learn more about Black River Electric Cooperative, visit
given to administer in one day, 950 were issued during the
www.brec.coop.
drive-thru clinic.

W

" Our seventh cooperative principle is 'Concern for Community,' and events like
this remind us why we are here. " - BREC General Manager, John Singleton
8

RURAL MISSOURI | MAY 2021


http://www.madisoncountymohealth.com http://www.brec.coop

Rural Missouri - May 2021

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Rural Missouri - May 2021 - Contents
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