WCSC & WEMS Partner to Begin Vial of Life Program in Washington County

       On June 13, 2013, Lynne Beal, Activity Coordinator of WCSC, and Cherry Bowen, Administrative Assistant for WCRD, attended an Elder Abuse Conference in Augusta Georgia.  During the conference, different vendors from the area had the opportunity to share their programs and ideas with those in attendance.  At break time, participants had the option to visit these vendors to obtain information to take back and share with their Centers.  One of the vendors attending on this particular day was Gold Cross, who shared with participants a Vial of Life Program that was currently set up in the Augusta Area.  Beal and Bowen could see the tremendous benefit that this program could be, not only for the Senior Community, but for the entire County.  Several days after attending the conference, Bowen contacted Alan Smith, local EMS director, and set up an appointment to speak with him regarding the program.  Upon speaking with Bowen, Smith stated that he was very familiar with this program, and was anxious to help get the program in place in Washington County.  Since Smith had recently become a member of the Tennille Rotary Club, he knew that it was looking for some new projects to promote.  Newly elected president of Tennille Rotary Club and writer for The Sandersville Progress, Elizabeth Jordan, was ready to help promote the program as soon as sufficient funding was available and enough supply could be made to distribute.  Smith received a donation from the first partner, Tennille Rotary Club, to allow for printing of labels and stickers for the vials.  WCSC agreed to help fold, stuff, and label the vials as needed.  Smith then decided in order to provide enough vials for the community, a grant would need to be written.  Smith applied for a grant on behalf of EMS through Washington EMC’s Operation Round-Up.   In November, EMS received a grant for $1500 the needed vials.  All parties involved were tremendously excited that this program had become a reality in such a short amount of time, and a date was set for an official kick-off event! 

        On Thursday, December 19th, Santa arrived by ambulance to the Washington County Senior Center.  Instead of his usual bag of toys for “all good little boys and girls”, he handed out Vials of Life from his big red pack.   EMS personnel were on hand to assist in filling out forms to register Senior citizens for the program, and each was advised what to do with the Vial upon returning home.   The vial would be placed in the refrigerator door, and a sticker prominently placed by the front door of the home to let EMS know that he/she was a participant in the program.  This way, EMS could go straight to the refrigerator and obtain the vial to retrieve health history, medications, and physician/insurance information. What an outstanding program to help save a life!  There will be upcoming events to hand out more Vials, but Washington EMS is located directly behind Washington County Regional Medical Center for your convenience.  Please participate in this worthwhile program by bringing by your medicines today and getting signed up for a Vial!  WCSC would like to thank all partners involved in this event: Washington EMS, Washington EMC, and Tennille Rotary Club.  Thanks for all your efforts in making this a reality!

Submitted by: Cherry E. Bowen