PCOM Georgia students, employees and family members received COVID-19 vaccines at
two campus vaccination events.
Thanks to the combined efforts of PCOM School of Pharmacy alumnus Kaleb Zhang, PharmD ’20, Pam Marquess, PharmD, co-owner of Bethelview Pharmacy,
and Kim Lucier, PCOM Georgia administrative services and events manager, more than
200 students, faculty and staff at PCOM Georgia, as well as their family members,
have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to Zhang, he was working as the pharmacist-in-charge at Bethelview Pharmacy,
an independent drug store in Cumming, Georgia, when he connected with Lucier, who
had been his work-study manager in the Office of the Chief Campus Officer when he
was a Doctor of Pharmacy student just a few months before. He offered to contact Lucier when COVID vaccines
were available. Lucier in turn would send a communication about availability to PCOM
Georgia students, faculty and staff.
He explained that at first, PCOM community members would come to the pharmacy to be
vaccinated. Soon after, along with Marquess, he helped to arrange two vaccination
clinics on campus. Marquess, the pharmacy owner, had been hosting vaccine events across
metro Atlanta with the help of PCOM Georgia student volunteers.
The Rapid Response Team, a group of administrators at PCOM’s three campuses who are
overseeing the college’s response to the pandemic, approved the events as part of
the President’s Community Wellness Initiative. The initiative’s mission is to “create educational and health services programming
and resources that support and sustain the physical, mental, nutritional and environmental
wellness of the college’s surrounding communities.”
According to Lucier, the first vaccination day, led by Marquess, was held on Saturday,
April 17 where 91 PCOM Georgia employees and students were vaccinated. The second
vaccine event, led by Zhang, was held on Saturday, May 8, and attended by 90 individuals.
All 32 first year physician assistant students, who counted the event as a learning
experience, volunteered to vaccinate. Three faculty members were present to oversee
both events, along with two Gwinnett County emergency medical technicians.
Lucier said, “It takes a tremendous amount of planning, effort and institutional resources
to successfully execute an event of this magnitude. I am very thankful for the PCOM
community who came together to make these vaccine events happen demonstrating teamwork
at its finest. I am proud to work alongside these dedicated individuals.”
Zhang said, “I felt like it was my duty as an alumnus of PCOM Georgia to help provide
this service to the fine establishment that educated and shaped me into the healthcare
professional I am today.”
He noted that pharmacists, like other healthcare professionals, have been on the front
lines of the COVID pandemic since it began.
“Pharmacists continued to go to work daily during the pandemic as prescriptions still
needed to be filled regardless of the risk,” he said. Once COVID-19 vaccines were
approved through Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration,
pharmacies became one of the main vaccine providers, he added.
Today, Zhang is working as the lead pharmacist for Jackson Pharmacy Professionals
at the Delta Flight Museum in Hapeville, Georgia, overseeing 3,000 vaccines administered
daily. And PCOM Georgia students continue to use their vaccination skills as they
volunteer to serve across Atlanta.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.
For more information, contact: Barbara Myers Senior Public Relations Manager Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: