Officially, its National Volunteer Month and as we all know that it has gained new meaning. This year as the world continues to grapple with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the university community, volunteers from all over campus donated their time and talents for the health and safety of others. One individual in particular, UK graduate Sean McCarthy, showed what it meant to step in and work where his skills were needed.
When McCarthy began working in the emergency department at Albert B Chandler Hospital in the UK after graduation, he didn’t realize the time spent there would be very short. After just 18 months into his career, COVID-19 has swept across the globe, and McCarthy needed to employ different skills. McCarthy moved to the operations team within UK Health Corps in 2020. This unit has been critical in meeting the needs of students, faculty and staff in the UK during the pandemic.
He said: “The British Health Authority has been helpful in the UK’s coronavirus response efforts.” “Health Corps is responsible for everything from testing for COVID-19 to ensuring student wellness throughout periods of isolation or quarantine. Health Corps has also been able to participate in numerous student retention and wellness projects. And recently, Health Corps has provided tremendous employment assistance in a vaccine clinic Krueger Field. ”
Like many healthcare workers, McCarthy has demonstrated time and time again the value of resilience during this pandemic. After working at Health Corps for four months, he became the logistical coordinator for the COVID-19 vaccine operation in the UK. McCarthy oversees the Kruger Field Vaccine Clinic as well as the UK-run mobile clinics across Lexington. He describes his move as “head diving first”.
“In my location, I have had to adapt to ensure that the UK is able to serve Kentucky safely and efficiently. We serve about 20,000 Kentuckyians every week, and we are working to ensure that every Kentucky who wants gets a vaccine as soon as possible.” At the clinic, McCarthy’s first priority is ensuring adequate staffing. After that, he makes sure that the volunteers know where they are going and what they are doing. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate and witness the joys of human connection at the vaccination clinic, something the world has lost in the past year. Distancing from friends and loved ones has been a lifelong challenge. As our community continues to approach some sense of normality, our volunteers play a crucial role in helping us get there. Once the completed form is filled out, a link will be sent to SignUpGenius to individuals within 1-2 business days. Once individuals have access to SignUpGenius, they can sign up for any open work shift. If any UK affiliated organization or group is interested in volunteering, email our team at [email protected]