How a Combined Emergency — and Viral — Preparedness Effort Took Shape at Wallowa Memorial Hospital

Telling the Hospital Story: Wallowa Memorial Hospital. An older man sits smiling while gloved hands administer vaccine in his arm

Emergency preparedness and routine immunizations have more in common than meets the eye. Both are preventative measures that safeguard not only the individual, but also the collective. When combined, they can be an effective way to mobilize community members to make healthy choices for their future selves.

“You could do a better job working together,” said Winding Waters CEO Nic Powers, whose clinic, representing the local public health authority, partnered with Enterprise, Ore.- based Wallowa Memorial Hospital to host a vaccination clinic and emergency preparedness event at a local fire station last fall. 

The Oct. 27, 2023, event at Joseph Fire Hall distributed information from local officials on steps to take during an emergency, while also administering seasonal and routine vaccinations. The event brought together the county’s public health authority to administer the vaccinations, as well as the hospital’s public health preparedness and response coordinator, who provided emergency preparedness brochures.

The pamphlets outlined in detail the steps to take before, during and after evacuation due to a wildfire, as well as guidance on what to do after an evacuation. Vaccinations available included COVID, flu, pneumonia, tetanus, and adolescent, childhood, and infant vaccinations. To learn more about this event, one in a larger series of county events held in 2023, read this Wallowa County Chieftain article.

Resources on the Role of Hospitals