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First Moderna COVID-19 vaccines administered to GRH health care workers

Hospital news | Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Contact: Mardi Ford

LA GRANDE – Grande Ronde Hospital received its first 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, December 23 for frontline workers. First vaccines were administered by infection preventionist/employee health nurse Amy Miles, RN, within hours of receipt.
Hospitalist Blake Gornowicz, MD, and Emergency Department (ED) physician Stephen McIlmoil, DO, were first to receive the vaccine, followed by registered nurse Jaymi George, RN.

“I encourage my community to follow me in taking this first step so we may begin the process of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gornowicz stated, noting the importance of leading by example. As a hospitalist, Gornowicz provides care to COVID-19 patients in both the Medical/Surgical and Intensive Care units within the Hospital.

McIlmoil, who is also the ED Medical Director, said “I feel honored and privileged to be able to get the vaccine, and help our community decrease the spread of COVID-19.”

George cares for COVID-19 patients in the Medical/Surgical unit. “I choose to work with COVID-19 patients to reduce exposure risk for some of my higher-risk co-workers – I volunteer so others don’t have to,” George explained.

A second dose of the vaccine will be administered 28 days after the initial dose.

President & CEO Jeremy Davis commented on the initial vaccine allocation’s arrival at the Hospital, stating, “After months of watching the pandemic progress, we are eager to protect our community in such a monumental way. This is an exciting day for all of us.”

A multidisciplinary vaccine planning task force was established prior to the vaccine’s arrival to ensure staff with prolonged exposure to COVID-19 were prioritized based on the number of vaccines received. Staff can choose to opt out of receiving the vaccine.


Grande Ronde Hospital, Inc. is a state and nationally recognized and award winning not-for-profit health system that includes a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital and 12 outpatient clinics. We are located in Union County, Oregon, serving our base population of more than 25,000 residents, as well as providing services for the greater Eastern Oregon region. Since 1907, Grande Ronde Hospital has led this region in efforts to stabilize and secure rural health care services for the communities we serve, while also working to improve the quality of life of all our residents. Today we employ more than 700 people, all dedicated to providing quality health care services to our patients. We offer a broad range of diagnostic, surgical and therapeutic outpatient services, a Level IV Trauma Emergency Services Department, a Family Birthing Center; Physical, Occupational and Speech Rehabilitation Therapy and Sports Medicine Services, and Home Care Services providing both home health and hospice care needs. We also operate 12 primary and specialty care clinics: the Cardiology Clinic, the Dermatology Clinic, the Elgin Clinic, the Hematology & Oncology Clinic, the Neurology Clinic, the Regional Medical Clinic, the Sleep Clinic, the Specialty Clinic (General Surgery, Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Otolaryngology (ENT), Podiatry, and Urology), Urgent Care, the Wound Care Clinic, the Union Clinic, and the Women’s & Children’s Clinic (Gynecology, Obstetrics and Pediatrics). For more information, please visit