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Cross-section of active, retired pros unite to support COVID-19 clinic

MADISON – During troubled times, like the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic, people need a sign of hope and optimism to realize better days are approaching.

One such sign recently occurred when active and retired medical workers, along with professionals in other fields, volunteered their time to assist with the Huntsville Hospital Community Vaccination Clinic.

For the clinic at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, people from across Madison County dedicated time to help their neighbors to receive the vaccinations.

“I was so fascinated by the people I met as I volunteered my time at this clinic,” Alice Lessmann said. “I think it’s amazing to see how all parts of the community come together where they are needed.”

“We all have different skillsets. It was truly an honor to work with all these people,” Lessmann said.

Lessmann is CEO of Signalink, Inc., a technical services government contracting company, and a member of Madison Board of Education. She also has kept her Registered Nurse or RN and Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner or CRNP licenses up to date. Learning about the Covid Clinic, Lessmann contacted Mary Lynn Wright, President of Madison Hospital, and asked how to assist.

“I was honored to put my license to use again by volunteering on weekends to help with administering the COVID-19 vaccines,” Lessmann said.

Coordinator for the clinic was Andrea Cooper, RN.

Stephanie Sandwell, also a CRNP, opted to stay at home with her small children a few years ago. When the opportunity arose to volunteer at the clinic, Sandwell immediately offered to assist. “Stephanie volunteers whenever she can, which has been weekends mostly,” Lessmann said.

Several retired individuals returned to the front lines. Carolyn Pippitt, Julie Groark, Teresa Kimminau, who are registered nurses, along with Michael Cooke, Doctor of Osteopathy, came out of retirement for the clinic.

Kathi Sutton, RN retired a year ago with hopes to travel and relax with her husband. “Kathi quickly found herself at her dining room table with her grandchildren all around as she helped with homework,” Lessmann said. “When she found out about the Community Clinic, she reached out to volunteer with the cause.”

Currently employed at Huntsville Hospital, Anna Robles assists with admissions and IT; she also volunteered.

Lee Shaw, Business Development Director with Madison City Schools, was humbled to help on holidays and weekends. Shaw previously had worked for Hospice of Huntsville and is familiar with the medical field.

A retired couple, Jean Loux, RN wanted to assist in any capacity alongside husband Peter Loux, Doctor of Osteopathy. Dr. Loux worked at Huntsville Hospital from 1983 to 2012 and promptly offered his services.

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