Hospital discusses COVID-19 vaccine distribution, financial goals

Vaccines to be distributed in four phases; fundraising goal for 2021 is $2.5 million

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MEETING SCREENSHOT

Pullman Regional Hospital’s 2021 annual gala might be held in person, said Rueben Mayes, PRH chief development officer.

MICHELLE PAREDES STRONG, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Commissioners discussed the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the 2021 budget expenses and financial objectives, during a meeting on Wednesday.

Gerald Early, chief medical and innovation officer at PRH, said Pfizer and BioNTech are vaccine front runners with a 95 percent effectiveness.

“This vaccine attacks the corona spike protein,” he said. 

Early said University of Oxford, Janssen and Moderna also have COVID-19 vaccine studies that use methods similar to those in influenza vaccine studies.

Because there will be a limited number of COVID-19 vaccines, distribution will be conducted in four phases, he said. 

The first phase includes high-risk health workers and first responders, Early said. It also involves people of all ages with underlying conditions and older adults living in overcrowded settings. 

“There is a sensibility to that,” Early said. “Many people get the COVID-19 virus and have severe medical problem, so our population is dependent upon these high-risk healthcare workers to take care of us.” 

He said the second phase includes K-12 teachers, school staff, child care workers and critical workers in high-risk settings. The third phase accounts for young adults and children. People who are not included in the first three phases are categorized in the fourth phase.

Rueben Mayes, PRH chief development officer, said the PRH Foundation set a fundraising goal of $2.5 million for 2021. 

The current donor retention rate is at 65 percent while new donor recruits are at 10 percent, he said. Currently, there are about 800 donors and there will be 150 additional donors in 2021.

Key revenue drivers include the PRH Foundation Gala, sponsorships, direct mail and Homes for Health, Mayes said. The foundation usually raises around $400,000.

The annual gala might be held in person during 2021, he said. 

“We are working with the [WSU] Athletics Department to see what the football schedule looks like,” he said. “We think we have found the right Saturday and have enough distance that we can host an event.”

The Board of Commissioners’ next virtual meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 6.