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Rowan Helping Ministries gets flu shots

Val Velte pats the chair and one of the guests at Rowan Helping Ministries comes over and sits down. Velte, the Corporate and Community Wellness Nurse at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, asks them if they’re allergic to eggs or latex, has them fill out some paperwork, and then asks them to roll up their sleeves.

This is the third year that NHRMC has provided free flu shots at a one-day, on-location clinic to guests at Rowan Helping Ministries.

Executive Director of Rowan Helping Ministries Kyna Grubb says that the flu is a concern for staff and guests alike. Guests stay in dorm-style housing and most of the rooms at the facility are big, open, and shared.

“It’s a communal living environment,” Grubb said, “It’s very easy to share germs. The flu shot really helps us stay healthy.”

Velte and RN Kim Lucas had 30 flu shots prepared. Grubb says that 21 people pre-registered for the shot, which is about a fourth of Rowan Helping Ministries nightly guests. The list included six of the ministry’s 40 full and part-time staff members.

While those who signed up early waited in line to get their shots, Grubb and Director of Resource Development Kris Mueller went out into the common area to encourage others to come to the clinic.

Novant’s yearly flu clinic is open to most of the ministry’s guests, Mueller said. The only people not eligible are veterans or children under 18. Veterans can receive free flu shots at the VA, and children can receive free shots at health clinics.

Lucas has worked as an registered nurse for 19 years, and she helps give shots at Rowan Helping Ministries every year. She puts her patients at ease with a smile, and jokes with each person to distract them from the sting of the needle.

“I love giving back what the Lord’s given to me,” Lucas said, “It’s my talent.”

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