Iowa Methodist Nurse Recruits Fellow Nurses to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines at Hy-Vee Clinics

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Dozens of nurses have stepped up to vaccinate Iowans against COVID-19, all thanks to the effort of a longtime Iowa Methodist intensive care unit nurse.

Suzanne Hofmann called Hy-Vee in January to check if they needed help distributing vaccines. When the grocery store said yes, Hofmann soon rounded up more than 30 interested nurses.

“I thought to myself, ‘Nurses are the most generous people,'” said Hofmann, who has been a nurse at Iowa Methodist for 20 years and was a nurse at Mercy Hospital in the 20 years before that. “I got crazy inundated with all kinds of nurses that I used to work with, even some that are retired.”

Hofmann estimates she has personally administered between 800 and 1,000 vaccines since she started working with Hy-Vee. She says the experience does give her optimism that Iowans are taking COVID-19 seriously.

“I heard from a lot of people during my vaccinations, especially when I did the teachers at Drake,” Hofmann said. “I had teachers crying and telling me what a year it’s been for them. It’s just been hard on everybody, the whole thing.”

Hofmann’s daughter, Ashley O’Connor, believes this effort is another reason to appreciate health care workers.

“They’re still heroes and they’re still taking care of the community,” O’Connor said. “I think we should not lose sight of what this pandemic taught us, that teachers, nurses, and first responders are heroes.”

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