Impact of COVID on seniors leads local woman to step up and take action

Jacinda Snider, a collaborative pharmacist distributes COVID-19 booster shots at Grafton Oaks Nursing Home on Grafton Ave. Tuesday Jan. 11, 2022. Snider volunteers long hours including evenings and weekends to give people vaccines. She has provided hundreds of Ohioans against COVID-19. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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Jacinda Snider, a collaborative pharmacist distributes COVID-19 booster shots at Grafton Oaks Nursing Home on Grafton Ave. Tuesday Jan. 11, 2022. Snider volunteers long hours including evenings and weekends to give people vaccines. She has provided hundreds of Ohioans against COVID-19. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Jacinda Snider has wanted to take care of people her entire life. It’s why she became a pharmacist and it’s why she has volunteered days, evenings and weekends to vaccinate hundreds of Ohioans against COVID-19.

“I just feel like I’m doing my part,” said Snider, 47, of Lebanon.

Snider became certified to provide immunizations not long after the COVID-19 vaccine became available, and she gave her first jab more than a year ago, in December 2020. Since then, she has given vaccinations in Springfield, Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus area, mostly to seniors.

“I watched COVID go through the nursing homes, and it was just devastating,” said Snider, who is a long-term care pharmacist and pharmacy manager at Collaborative Pharmacy Services, a part of Kettering Health.

She also has seen family members come down with the virus. Some had mild symptoms, but one relative suffered a stroke during a COVID-19 infection that occurred before the vaccine was available and is currently in a long-term care facility, she said.

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Jacinda Snider

Jacinda Snider

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Jacinda Snider

Most of the people that Snider has vaccinated are excited and thankful, but she also knows of others who have resisted the vaccine and have passed away.

“You never know if you’re going to be the one who can’t handle the virus,” she said.

She initially gave vaccines as a contractor with a chain pharmacy, one of the few places that distributed the vaccine at the time. Now she regularly provides vaccinations and staffs clinics through her workplace, often putting in an extra 20 hours a week to meet the need for vaccines.

Snider praised Collaborative Pharmacy Services’ staff, both for helping at clinics with her and allowing her the flexibility to provide vaccination services when they are needed.

As Grafton Oaks Rehabilitation and Nursing Center’s long-term care pharmacist, Snider is a constant presence at the facility, said Administrator Lisa Hamilton. But more than that, Snider is engaging, upbeat and “goes above and beyond,” she said.

Snider or her team is available within days to vaccinate new residents and staff, Hamilton said. The center, at 405 Grafton Ave., in Dayton, has 100 percent of its residents and staff vaccinated and already has had three booster clinics.

“Jacinda has been there helping every bit of the way,” Hamilton said.

Snider’s mother, Shawn Foley, praised her daughter for contributing her time so that others are protected.

“She really believes in medicine. She wants to make a difference,” said Foley.

Whether providing vaccinations or helping others who need her, health care is a calling for her daughter.

“Her heart goes out with everything she dispenses,” Foley said.

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