consecutive Wednesday evenings in March, Mary Conant,
RN, instructed UMVMRC members and school nurses about
collaborating with their public health departments
to assist with mass dispensing clinics and administering
smallpox vaccine. Conant is an Infectious Disease
Response Nurse for the MA Department of Public Health,
who is chartered with sharing this information to
medical personnel throughout metropolitan Boston.
Her MDPH counterparts are delivering similar classes
to other regions of the commonwealth.
Conant (right) demonstrating smallpox vaccination
techniques on MRC member Donna Harrill.
Merrimack Valley MRC organized, through MDPH, two
back-to-back sessions in March, for groups of up to
25 per class, at the Millennium school in Westford.
The first sessions focused on Mass Dispensing Clinics.
Conant demonstrates smallpox inoculation techniques
on MRC member Donna Harrill, as members of the
class look on.
included a history of infectious disease control,
communicable diseases of greatest concern today, and
operational issues related to large scale dispensing
sites within local communities. "We cannot emphasize
enough the importance of advanced planning,"
urged Conant, "and the value of working together
smoothly with the other agencies that may be involved."
Conant offers guidance as James
Morash (right) practices on fellow MRC member
sessions were devoted to Smallpox inoculation certification.
Conant described the characteristics of smallpox and
global efforts to eradicate the disease, as well as
measures being taken to guard against potential outbreaks.
Attendees were able to practice using special bifurcated
needles, which would be used to administer the vaccine.
Participants earned MDPH certification in Smallpox
delivery, as well as 3.5 CEUs (for nurses) or 3 OEMS
credit hours (for EMTs).