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Southwest Dutchess Daily Voice serves Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Poughkeepsie, Wappinger & Wappingers Falls

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Sun River Health Administers First COVID-19 Vaccinations To Staff

Sharon Andrades, RN, the first Sun River Health clinician to be vaccinated, describes why she wanted to receive the vaccine publicly and why she thinks it's important for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
Sharon Andrades, RN, the first Sun River Health clinician to be vaccinated, describes why she wanted to receive the vaccine publicly and why she thinks it's important for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Video Credit: Sun River Health
Kenneth Desa, MD, Acting Chief Medical Officer, explains why he wanted to receive the vaccine publicly and why he thinks it's important for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
Kenneth Desa, MD, Acting Chief Medical Officer, explains why he wanted to receive the vaccine publicly and why he thinks it's important for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Video Credit: Sun River Health
Roberta Kelly, NP, Chief Nursing Officer, explains why she wanted to receive the vaccine publicly and why she thinks it's important for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
Roberta Kelly, NP, Chief Nursing Officer, explains why she wanted to receive the vaccine publicly and why she thinks it's important for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Video Credit: Sun River Health

On Wednesday, December 23, Sun River Health (formerly Hudson River Health Care) began administering COVID-19 vaccines to clinical staff at Sun River Health NYC health center locations. Among the first clinical staff members to be vaccinated were Sharon Andrades, RN, Director at Sun River Health’s Matilda Raffa Cuomo Health Center, Dolores Curbelo, MD, NYC Regional Medical Director, Roberta Kelly, NP, Chief Nursing Officer, and Acting Chief Medical Officer Kenneth Desa, MD.

Sun River Health RN and Health Center Director Sharon Andrades receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from Chief Nursing Officer Roberta Kelly, NP.

Sun River Health

Sun River Health staff after the first round of Sun River Health employee COVID-19 vaccinations.

Sun River Health

“Today is an important day for Sun River Health’s employees, patients, and communities we serve as we begin the important work that will finally bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, Sun River Health CEO. “Thank you to our incredible staff members who volunteered to be the first to receive the vaccine today. And thank you to all our courageous staff who continue to deliver exceptional patient care as we begin to turn the tide. We know vigilance is still critical in the weeks and months ahead, as health care workers and as individuals in our communities.”

Following major hospital systems, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), like Sun River Health, are the first to receive and administer vaccines to patients in the United States. Sun River Health will continue administering the vaccine to staff who provide direct patient care over the coming weeks. Patient vaccinations will begin in early 2021.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and most effective means to help end the pandemic,” said Kenneth Desa, MD, Sun River Health Acting CMO. “It was an honor to be one of the first Sun River Health staff members to receive this vaccine, and I look forward to ensuring that all our staff and patients are vaccinated as soon as possible.”

About Sun River Health

Sun River Health is a network of 43 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) providing primary, dental, pediatric, OB-GYN, and behavioral health care to over 245,000 patients annually. With a dedicated staff of 2,000 doctors, nurses, and health care professionals, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, affordable care to those who need it most. Sun River Health started in 1975 when four African American mothers spearheaded efforts to open our first health center in Peekskill, N.Y. and deliver accessible, high-quality, affordable services to patients in need – no matter their race, religion, income, or insurance status. Today, after 45 years of service, Sun River Health is still delivering on that promise to communities across the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island.

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