Helping Patients Navigate their Vaccine Experience

One of the amazing things about Merck Canada colleagues is the care for the people and communities they live in, which extends well beyond their day-to-day work. There are many examples of this, including Carolyn Henrick, Senior Oncology Therapeutic Specialist, who has been volunteering on the frontlines of this pandemic as a vaccine clinic navigator in Winnipeg, MB. Read on to learn what inspired her to get involved in this way.

“Helping others protect themselves against COVID-19 is what propelled me to get involved and help to move us through this health crisis.”

— Carolyn

Merck Canada Colleague and Vaccine Clinic Volunteer

Q: What exactly is your role at the vaccine clinic?

Carolyn: I began volunteering in June of last year as a clinic navigator at the RBC infusion clinic in downtown Winnipeg; I try to help twice a week. This role helps direct the patients from the moment they enter the clinic until they leave. I help with seating patients, checking their papers, asking pre-screening questions, and I also check with them to see how they feel after their vaccine or simply direct them to the exit door; it varies with each and every shift.

To be able to help my community gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Q: What made you decide to volunteer?

Carolyn: At Merck Canada, we are privileged with the knowledge and learning our jobs provide us and I felt this pandemic was the appropriate time and place to share it. I wanted to help because it is such a great feeling to be part of a worldwide movement to get us through this pandemic. The sooner my community is protected, the better for everyone involved. I also wanted to help motivate and inspire the hesitant who come to be vaccinated by addressing their concerns or answering their questions.

Q: Why is vaccination important to you?

Carolyn: Vaccination is such an important part of our health and wellness. Helping others protect themselves is what propelled me to get involved and help move us through this health crisis.

Q: What has been the most rewarding moment or experience for you in this role?

Carolyn: I recall bringing a woman a tissue after her second vaccine when she started to cry. She said it was so emotional because now she would be able to hug her elderly mother again.* I needed a tissue too!

*when sanitary measures allow.

Q: What does it mean to you to be able to give back to your community and to have an employer who supports you in this way?

Carolyn: To be able to help my community gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. The time and energy required to help move patients through the clinic is humbling and gratifying. Having an employer who supports the ability to volunteer in this manner provides a sense of comfort and recognition that our values are aligned.