Sage Coulee Doing its Part in Pandemic Battle

Nearly 1,000 Vaccinations Given Out at Sage Coulee Outreach and Wellness Clinic in Effort to Stop Spread of COVID-19

By Logan J. Davis

The offices of Sage Coulee Outreach and Wellness Center in Bismarck are busy most times but in the times of the on-going battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff are teaming up to help get vaccines into people to protect them from the virus. Last week, Sage Coulee Health Facilitator Kelly Cummings-McGrady had her foot on

Left to Right: Gabby Wilkinson, Savannah Alkire, Kristin Keplin, Kelly Cummings-McGrady, Kathy Johnson and Kayla Rhone. Not Pictured, Jerri Lynn Kerzmann

the accelerator for two extremely busy days as she gave out 273 vaccines to MHA tribal members and others from the Bismarck-Mandan area. She credits staff at Sage Coulee and volunteers who made the vaccinations go smoothly.

“We had a lot of people who came here to get their vaccinations at our little clinic at Sage Coulee. So thank God the staff volunteers came to help out, because they were so full of youthful energy,” said Cummings-McGrady.

Cummings-McGrady said there were extra doses the Sage Coulee clinic was able to give out and so they called around and let people who work with MHA Nation tribal members such as teacher could have access to the vaccines last Thursday and Friday.

Lisa Satermo (left) is registered by Sage Coulee CNA Jerri Lynn Kerzmann
Kelly Cummings-McGrady gives Lisa Satermo the protection of the vaccines provided by Sage Coulee Outreach and Wellness Center

“We have to use them within 6 hours once we open a vial and we don’t sit on any doses. Once we get them in, we get them out,” said Cummings-McGrady. “We have a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) now as my assistant. We were able to hire Jerri Lynn Kerzmann for helping with home care for patients and to accompany elders to their appointments and also do medication runs. She previously was working for the MHA COVID Task Force. We also do COVID testing, rapid and antibody testing. Rapid HIV and Hepatitis-C testing is also available here at Sage Coulee.” 

Cummings-McGrady said the facility is poised and ready for first dose Moderna vaccinations on Thursday, March 4th for an estimated 100-150 patients. She noted that vaccination events are where the support staff members come in handy. 

“They all learned quick,” said Cummings-McGrady. I have to give thanks to my CNA and a co-worker who is the receptionist here. Kristin Keplin does so much more for me. Without Kristin’s help, it would be a lot tougher to do all what I need to do. Kristin’s learned how to register patients quickly and she a great ‘meeter and greeter’ and helps to keep everyone on their toes in a good way. 

Cummings-McGrady added that there have not been any complaints or any adverse effects in any of the nearly 1,000 vaccinations given out so far. 

“We have been rolling since January and have done nearly a thousand just in our little clinic at Sage Coulee alone helping out the other clinic back home at MHA. We’ve been giving the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and coming up we will have Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which is a one-dose vaccine. That should be nice because there are a lot of people who don’t like taking two doses of a vaccine,” stated Cummings-McGrady.