There’s nothing that “Team Purple” loves better than a good challenge! The BC provincial community immunization program inspired us to think differently by applying our logistical prowess and creative problem-solving skills to an entirely novel project environment. We embraced the opportunity to stretch our planning wings and be part of something with big community impact.
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNER ROLE
PDS was contracted by the BC Ministry of Health as a Community Partner with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) to provide non-clinical support services at Lower Mainland immunization clinics.
As hospitality and logistical experts, our role was to support mass vaccination sites in West Vancouver, Squamish and Pemberton with:
- public meet & greet and wayfinding
- site logistics and congestion management
- on-site vaccine registration
TEAM PURPLE’S SERVICE EVOLUTION
As BC’s immunization plan evolved and clinic locations increased, so did our services. Thanks to our critical thinking skills and our team’s warm hospitality, PDS’ role expanded to other areas of our province adding an entirely new dimension to our logistical support.
Vancouver Coastal Health Region (VCH)
Our services expanded across the Lower Mainland, supporting other partner vaccination sites including:
- River Rock Casino
- Vancouver Convention Centre
- North Vancouver’s Shipyards Pop Up Clinic
Interior Health Region (IH)
We supported IH’s execution plan for #journey2immunity with strategic and logistical planning, launching the mobile vaccine programming with:
- on-site clinic management, wayfinding and hospitality services
- production and infrastructure set-up crews
- military-style field tents and generator infrastructure
The program evolved and our services expanded to:
- 1-day pop-up clinics in rural and remote areas
- urban teams in local shopping malls for 3-days at a time
“Thank you for all you did and continue to do for our communities.”
Karen Bloemink, Vice President, Human Resources, Population Health & Pandemic Response
Northern Health Region (NH)
The NH’s initial concept was a pilot project called “Vaccine to You” (V2U). This project was aimed at getting vaccines to smaller remote communities, or communities with low uptake, that did not have mass immunization clinics or consistent weekly clinics.
We worked with NH to expand their vaccine access ideas for remote locations, leading the design, execution and support for urban pop-up clinics and mobile “roadshows”. In addition to on-site support staff, our team coordinated the V2U project including:
- scheduling “roadshow” destinations
- travel logistics for vaccinator teams
- 2 mobile teams with ATCO trailers
- production crews and drivers
- logistical site management
- transportation and distribution of vaccines and supplies
The trailers weren’t nimble enough to reach smaller communities. As the demand to travel greater distances and to reach smaller locations increased, we quickly revamped the V2U project plan. We adopted NH’s already successful “Vax Van” by adding 3 smaller van teams to reach:
- rural communities
- Indigenous communities
- remote worksites
- small shopping centre parking lots
BC MEETINGS & EVENTS, HOSPITALITY + TOURISM IMPACT
We hired over 200 professionals who had been out of work since the pandemic started, helping to kick-start our beleaguered industry. Our diverse team with multi-layered skills included professionals from:
- destination and event management
- film and television
- event and show production
- meeting planning
- hotels and restaurants
- attraction and tour operators
- A/V and lighting production
Project roles at our mass vaccination clinics and mobile clinics included:
- site supervisors and registration
- wayfinding and guest hospitality
- generator operators
- production crews
For those living in rural communities, our mobile clinics gave them easier vaccine access. By reducing transportation, logistical and financial barriers, people could stay in their own communities. The smaller clinics were less busy, allowing for more physical distancing space and giving our team more time to answer individuals’ questions. This contributed to an overall sense of safety, comfort and well-being.
We helped increase vaccine access to rural and remote communities, and enhanced capacity in larger communities. These clinics helped move our province forward with Dose 1 immunization rates near to 80% of our total population, bringing us one step closer to a return to normalcy.
PDS TEAM IMPACT
We built new community partnerships with provincial health workers and deepened our connections with our industry partners. Even during discouraging times, it was magical to pull together, help each other out and together achieve something greater than our individual contributions.
We celebrated a deep sense of community purpose: all the happy people we met, the special small-town moments, the people that brought us homemade butter tarts and apple pies. We are proud to contribute to the collective well-being of our fellow British Columbians.
Best of all, we loved working with such a dedicated, professional and fun team. For this, we are forever grateful.