HUDSON — HealthPartners workers in western Wisconsin began receiving COVID-19 vaccines in December.

The health care organization in a news release Dec. 29 called vaccinations for staff at Hudson and Westfields hospitals a "momentous milestone" in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Heidi Hoschka, house charge registered nurse and the hospital’s most senior RN, was among the first at Hudson Hospital to receive the first dose of the two-round vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 23. Dr. Kreegan Reierson, chief of hospital medicine for Valley Hospitals, was the first to receive the vaccine the same day at Westfields Hospital & Clinic.

Heidi Hoschka, House Charge Registered Nurse at Hudson Hospital & Clinic, one of the first employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Submitted photo
Heidi Hoschka, House Charge Registered Nurse at Hudson Hospital & Clinic, one of the first employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Submitted photo

“I’m optimistic that with the arrival of these vaccines, we’ll start to move past the worst of this pandemic,” said Tom Borowski, president of Hudson Hospital & Clinic. “Here in the St. Croix Valley, we’ve experienced challenges and heartache during this pandemic, but this vaccine gives us hope for a healthier future.”

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Vaccines won’t be widely available for months, prompting calls by health care experts for everyone to continue social distancing, masking, frequent hand-washing and other measures. to curb the spread of the virus.

Dr. Yonatan Platt received his gift of a vaccine on Dec. 24 at Westfields Hospital & Clinic. Submitted photo
Dr. Yonatan Platt received his gift of a vaccine on Dec. 24 at Westfields Hospital & Clinic. Submitted photo

“Our health care workers have worked so hard to support the communities of Western Wisconsin, and I’m glad we can offer them this safe, effective protection against COVID,” said Steven Massey, president and CEO of Westfields Hospital & Clinic. “These vaccines are a great relief and I hope it’s the beginning of the end.”

There was celebration at Hudson Hospital & Clinic on Dec. 23 as Beth Pollack (Pharmacy Technician), Caitlynn Singerhouse (Inventory Coordinator) and Rachele Paul (Pharmacist) received the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Submitted photo
There was celebration at Hudson Hospital & Clinic on Dec. 23 as Beth Pollack (Pharmacy Technician), Caitlynn Singerhouse (Inventory Coordinator) and Rachele Paul (Pharmacist) received the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Submitted photo