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Santa Barbara - South County

The unsung heroes of Cottage Health’s mass vaccination effort

GOLETA, Calif. - If you live in the local tri-county area, chances are you or someone you know participated in Cottage Health’s COVID-19 Community Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinic in Goleta.

Many people on the south coast shared that experience in the fight against COVID-19.

“There were so many team members that helped make this happen,” said Katy Bazylewicz, Vice President of Marketing & Population Health for Cottage Health. “It was just really the community stepping up to help the community.”

People from all areas and sectors pitched in, including retired nurses, physicians, tech experts, members of community organizations, environmental services and accounting firms. And, staff from all departments within Cottage Health.

“We really didn't have a playbook for how to do this,” said Bob Behbehanian, Director of Marketing & Consumerism for Cottage Health. “I don't think a day goes by when I don't think about what everyone kind of accomplished together.”

The historic scope of the effort brought a palpable sense of unity throughout Santa Barbara County.

“We've seen reactions and emotions of the whole gamut,” said Angeli Mancuso, Director of the Community Vaccine Clinic for Cottage Health. “From people being really excited about the light at the end of the tunnel, ‘This vaccination effort is the way out,’ to some anxiety, being pent up for over a year and then having this huge overwhelming wave of relief as they get that first and second injections.”

The call to arms, to expose arms and join the community battle against COVID, drew in thousands of volunteers and roughly 100,0000 vaccine recipients over the course of six months and two weeks. 

Photo op with Donald Smith (sitting) and Cottage Health employee (Courtesy/Daisy Moschitto)

The mass vaccination clinic operated up un until the end of July with ball bearing-like precision. Organizers say they are ready to do it again, if and when needed. 

Join us tonight at 6:00 and 11:00 as we meet some of the unsung heroes behind that massive effort.

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here

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