Our VOA Vaccine Experience

Want to share your vaccination experience? Email Doug at dougs@voamid.org, Mary Ellen at maryellenh@voamid.org or Meghan at meghanb@voamid.org and tell us your story. 

-- Stephanie Hoskins, Associate Director of Addiction Services

-- Charlotte Jones, Program Assistant Middle TN

-- Terry Younts, DSP Northern KY

-- Alicia Bures, SSVF Program Manager, Lexington KY

-- Monica Pennington, Home Manager

-- Erika Barker, SSVF Johnson City TN

"I feel very fortunate that I was even able to get the COVID-19 vaccine as early as I was. My work as a clinical therapist at VOA gave me access to a resource that isn’t available to a lot of people right now. Also, since I got this vaccine, I can be a more reliable resource for my clients as they work to figure out with sobriety looks like for them in their own lives. Any inconvenience I experienced in getting this vaccine is easily outweighed by what I can do for my clients now that I got the two injections." -- Clayton Vertrees, Clinical Therapist, Shelby Men's Recovery Center, Half-way Back and Veteran Services Program

-- Jonnah Goode, LPN Case Manager Middle TN

-- Tom Norris, Sr. Finance Director Middle TN

-- Lisa Wilson, Accounting Clerk Middle TN

-- Shareeta McCutcheon, Residential Coordinator Middle TN

-- Ashlea Hoover, LPN Middle TN

-- Delilah Edwards, LPN Middle TN

-- Sherall Curtis, QA Director/Event Manager Coordinator

-- Monica Bradley, Program Assistant Middle TN

Rhonda shared at our January 15 D2 call:

"I have a compromised immune system and feared the vaccine at first. I decided that the side effects can't be as bad as COVID. I received the vaccination yesterday and had minimal side effects." - Rhonda Cowan

-- Terry Richards, Director of Operations Support, after receiving her 2nd dose of the COVID Vaccine

"I've never had any issues with a vaccination and I haven't had any issue with this one either. I feel fine. Within an hour and a half of getting the shot I was able to go to the gym. I wanted to get it the first chance I had. For those of us who see clients face to face, I just think it's really important and we need to do as much as we can." -- David Block, VOA Community Service Coordinator/Assistant Director

"I want to protect our clients, but I'm also high risk. Myself and our other front-line workers are here day after day serving our clients and putting ourselves at risk -- that's why they're called heroes. The shot was just one more layer of protection for us and the people we serve. It took less than 5 minutes to receive it and then I had to wait 15 minutes after. I didn't have a reaction, so I could leave. I still have no side effects other than a sore arm." -- Kim Caballeros, VOA Senior Director C&F/NKY Areas

"My mother passed in June due to a battle with pancreatic cancer and because of COVID I could not visit her in the hospital. Before she was admitted in the hospital, the only way I could talk to her face-to-face was through an open window at her house. So, I would drive 10 hours just to talk to her for 5 minutes through an open window. COVID cost me a lot, so I'm so happy to have a way to fight back." -- Christina Troncin, RN

"I feel that it's important not only to protect myself, but my family and the people we serve. I've had a lot of people in my life who have been affected, so it was important to me to get the vaccine. And I'm glad VOA had advocated for us to get it." -- Danielle Cavanaugh, Senior Case Manager

"I knew the moment we started talking about getting the opportunity to receive the vaccine that I would get it. I wanted to be on the forefront of stopping the spread of this virus and knew I had a responsibility to my clients who often struggle with medical problems from their military service, my coworkers who couldn't get the vaccine for medical reasons, for my friends and family that suffer from conditions that would worsen their experience with COVID, for my community partners who also work with vulnerable populations, and for my neighbors and strangers I pass by everyday while still trying to live through this pandemic life. It was important for me to do my part to help, and that was bigger to me than the nerves I had to be the one of the firsts to get it. The Health Dept. had a very efficient process and the whole experience lasted less than 30 minutes, including waiting in line through waiting 15 minutes after to make sure I had no immediate side effects (in which I did not). I was able to leave straight from there to get back to work to finish out the afternoon, and other than a sore arm for one day, I have felt fine! I’m so happy to have gotten the chance to get this vaccine so soon, and I’m thankful for our VOA leadership who worked so hard to get it for us!” -- Rachel Harrison, Veteran Services Program Manager

"I want to be a part of ending this pandemic and getting back to some normalcy." -- Mary Ellen Howard, Communications and Creative Services Manager

"I was surprised at how easily and quickly I was able to get vaccinated today. 35 minutes (including the 15 minute wait period afterward) was such a brief amount of time to find in the day to start increasing protection against the virus! I was glad to do what I can to protect myself and others and no side effects!" -- Donna Trabue, VOA Chaplain

"I was also privileged enough to receive my first dose this morning and am feeling fine! No side effects or funky feelings—I didn’t feel the shot! It is such a relief to know our community is able to build up herd immunity not only to keep our coworkers safe, but also the vulnerable populations we serve safe. The idea of getting back to a form of normalcy moved me to tears. I hope every employee who can receive the vaccine does. It is the only way to ensure everyone’s safety moving forward." -- Mary Craft, Housing Specialist for Family Stabilization Program

"I am feeling very blessed to have been able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I am so thankful to work for a place that makes it possible for something like this that will help and protect my clients, coworkers, friends/family and community (Volunteers of America Mid-States you rock). Also I have to share major kudos to Louisville Metro Public Heath and Wellness. This was such an organized, well thought out process for people who were going through it. They answered questions and were encouraging. Thank you to all volunteering! Working during COVID-19 has been tough and has helped me remember how important self care is. (Pictured with me is my goldendoodle, Henry.) Both of my dogs have been a big part of my self care during these last 10 months." - Hayley Hoover, Clinical Therapist, Men's Program 

"Feeling truly grateful this morning to be able to take a step to protecting my co-workers, my clients, and above all, my family."  -Megan Stevenson

"Today, 35 residents and 2 staff members at Spanish Cove received the first dose of the COVID vaccine. It is such a privilege to be able to receive this vaccine and know we are taking a step forward in ending this pandemic. None of our residents, nor staff members, had any immediate reactions to the vaccine. I’m attaching pictures of staff, along with our 2 oldest residents who have both been at Spanish Cove since 1999! On behalf of all of our residents and staff, thank you VOA for giving us the opportunity to receive this!" - Meghan Smith

"I'm not throwing away my shot…at saving lives.” -- Tiffany Hall, Chief Operating Officer