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First Caregivers at Rhinelander Hospital Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Ascension Wisconsin

Above: Critical Unit Registered Nurse Bob Towne receives the COVID-19 Vaccine at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander from Licensed Practical Nurse Marna Bauer.

The first caregivers at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander got COVID-19 vaccinations on Wednesday.

Ascension St. Mary’s will serve as the initial location in the Northwoods for COVID-19 vaccinations for Ascension Wisconsin associates and clinicians.

Registered nurse Bob Towne, respiratory therapist Chris Frederickson, and Pediatrician Dr. Julia Pickens were among the first recipients of the vaccine. Frederickson is also Rhinelander’s mayor.

“This is very exciting and I have been waiting for this for a long time,” said Towne in a press release. “It has been an extremely long 10 months and this is the first time we feel we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Ascension Wisconsin said it is following guidance issued by the CDC for vaccine distribution.

“We are thankful for all who have made this vaccine possible and for the continued dedication of our selfless caregivers,” said Mark Banas, the Medical Staff President of Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital. “As we await widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, it will be critical for our entire community to continue wearing masks, watching distance from others and washing hands frequently to protect ourselves and those around us.” 

Ascension said frontline caregivers in emergency rooms, COVID-19 departments, and intensive care units would be among the first to get the vaccine.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He now contributes occasionally to WXPR. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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