AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe proudly announced that Health Service’s efforts during the COVID-19 Pandemic were recognized with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Indian Health Service Directors Award for COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism (2020). The Indian Health Service Award recognizes the exceptional work, dedication, and selfless response by the Tribe’s COVID-19 Response Team in the face of the coronavirus.
“The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s COVID-19 Response Team under the leadership of Kim McElwain, Lynne Thompson, and Theresa Gardner has provided exceptional care and dedication in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. I’m very proud of our team; we hit the ground running and continued to stay a step ahead of what was happening around us,” shared Health Services Director Michael Cook in their nomination. “This team has more than stepped up to the plate, they have been willing to serve and sacrifice for the Akwesasne community; making sure that safety, access to testing, care, and vaccinations have always been the priority.”
Recipients of the COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism Award help advance the Indian Health Service’s COVID-19 Action Plan. For the SRMT COVID-19 Response Team’s part, they have helped lead the surrounding area’s response to the coronavirus; with the first established and regularly scheduled COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics. The design of their stream-lined clinics has served as timely and efficient examples for regional health departments and has enabled Health Services to administer more 12,000 of both COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.
The SRMT COVID-19 Response Team’s efforts have expanded to providing Booster Shots for all individuals ages 12 years or more at their weekly vaccine clinic held on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the former-IGA Building, holding PCR testing clinics on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at their testing garage, as well as pediatric vaccinations from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at their main campus and the distribution of FREE COVID-19 Home Test Kits on Tuesday afternoons.
SRMT Health Promotion and Planning Manager Jessica Ayotte joined in submitting the Response Team’s nomination for the exceptional lengths they have taken to keep Akwesasne safe, adding “They tirelessly work to protect our community and slow the spread of COVID-19; whether doing contact tracing on the weekends or quickly organizing testing clinics in response to community spikes, regardless of the weather — including in sub-zero temperatures.”
On behalf of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Niawen:kówa/Thank you very much to the SRMT COVID-19 Response Team and congratulations on recognition of your efforts with the 2020 Indian Health Service Director’s COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism Award.