Editorial: SRMT recognized for COVID-19 efforts | Opinion
Editorial: SRMT recognized for COVID-19 efforts |  Opinion

Editorial: SRMT recognized for COVID-19 efforts | Opinion

Congratulations to the Saint Regis Mohawk tribe for being recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Indian Health Service Directors Award for COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism (2020).

While the SRMT is on the edge of the press-Republican circulation area in western Franklin County, it is a well-known community that is visited daily by many in our area.

The tribe has been one of the most consistent entities in providing COVID-19 information to us every single day. It is easy to see why their efforts to inform and protect their communities have been recognized.

A recent press release explained what national recognition entails:

The Indian Health Service Award recognizes the unique work, dedication, and selfless response of the tribe’s COVID-19 Response Team to coronavirus.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s COVID-19 Response Team led by Kim McElwain, Lynne Thompson and Theresa Gardner has provided extraordinary care and dedication in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. I am very proud of our team; we hit the ground running and continued to be one step ahead of what was happening around us, ”Health Services Director Michael Cook said in their nomination.

“This team has more than gone up to the plate, they have been willing to serve and sacrifice for the Akwesasne community; to ensure that safety, access to tests, care and vaccinations have always been a priority. “

Recipients of the COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism Award help promote the Indian Health Service’s COVID-19 action plan. For SRMT COVID-19 Response Teams, they have helped guide the surrounding area’s response to coronavirus; with the first established and regularly scheduled COVID-19 test and vaccination clinics.

The design of their streamlined clinics has served as timely and effective examples for regional health departments and has enabled Health Services to administer more than 12,000 of both COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.

The SRMT COVID-19 Response Team’s efforts have been extended to provide booster shots to all persons aged 12 years or over at their weekly vaccine clinic, which is held on Wednesdays from and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon in their test garage as well as pediatric vaccinations from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on their main campus and distribution of free COVID-19 home test kits Tuesday afternoon.

SRMT Health Promotion and Planning Director Jessica Ayotte participated in submitting the Response Team’s nomination for the extraordinary lengths they have taken to keep Akwesasne safe, adding “They work tirelessly to protect our community and curb the spread of COVID-19; it’s tracking contact over the weekend or quickly organizing test clinics in response to increases in the community, regardless of the weather – including in minus degrees. “

On behalf of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Niawen: kówa, many thanks to the SRMT COVID-19 Response Team and congratulations on recognizing your efforts with the 2020 Indian Health Service Director’s COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism Award.

Again, congratulations to SRMT and we wish them safety, health and well-being while continuing to fight COVID-19 honorably and effectively.

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