Maui Coronavirus Updates

UH Maui College Nursing Student Organizes COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for May 1st

April 23, 2021, 8:50 AM HST
* Updated April 23, 10:23 AM
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Vaccine clinic. PC: Lennel Joy Alvarez

When Wailea resorts needed a fluent Filipino speaker with medical knowledge to explain the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination sign-up process to its landscapers, they contacted the UH Maui College Nursing Program.

First-year nursing student Lennel Joy Alvarez and her classmate Selwyne Matillano answered the call.

“We found that these folks had questions about what was being offered, didn’t know how to sign up, were having online difficulties; and frankly, were hearing a lot of misinformation,” said Alvarez, noting that the vaccination rate in the Filipino community is low.

She decided she wanted to set up a vaccination clinic someplace familiar to and comfortable for the Filipino community. She enlisted support from the college’s nursing program faculty and students, the Campus Health Center, and the State Department of Health.

And so, on Saturday, May 1, from 8 a.m. to noon, there will be a Moderna vaccination clinic at Binhi At Ani, the Filipino Community Center in Kahului located at 780 Oneheʻe Avenue. There will be several nurses and nursing
students who are fluent in Filipino dialects on hand. The clinic is open to the public.

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Signups are highly recommended here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d44a5ab2da3fec07-binhi

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Walk-ins accepted. A second shot clinic will be announced.

“This second outreach to the Filipino community by our Filipina faculty and students now has the nursing program working collaboratively with DOH and the UHMC Campus Health Center,” said Anne Scharnhorst, Chair of UH Maui College Allied Health Program. “It’s a great experience for the students to see what public health efforts require. What a wonderful impact it is having on our students and what a wonderful impact the nursing students are having in the community. It is inspiring us to do even more.” 

Alvarez has wanted to be a nurse since she was seven years old and found herself “nursing” her mother and younger brother through an illness. “That’s when I knew my calling was in the medical field,” she said.

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In high school, she became interested in business. When she was accepted into the Nursing Program, she had already completed two years of pre-requisites. So she earned her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and then went straight into the Nursing Program. She plans to continue on to become a Nurse Practitioner.

“Our nursing faculty, nursing students and graduates stepped up to be part of our community response to the pandemic since the very beginning,” said UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana. “As we strive to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, they continue to do so. Lennel’s initiative to organize her own COVID vaccination clinic is a most impressive example.”

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