New Jersey athletic trainers have begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Bergen New Bridge Medical Center is one of several hospital systems providing the vaccine to their staff athletic trainers. Athletic trainers employed within the hospital system continue to be on the frontlines of healthcare during the pandemic, many of whom interact with patients daily.
“Licensed athletic trainers have been at the forefront of New Jersey’s battle against the COVID-19 Virus since the beginning. As the vaccine is administered, it is imperative to include athletic trainers among the other medical professionals currently at risk,” said Kevin W. Briles, President of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey, Inc.
On December 18th, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center received its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. Three of the first recipients were athletic trainers Aaron Hajart, Kristen Muldowney, and Silvana Cespedes.
“I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be vaccinated as so many others are having to wait. This is an opportunity to protect my family as much as myself,” said Aaron Hajart, Chief Operating Officer and SVP of Strategy and Innovation.
Kristen Muldowney, Chief Administrative Officer, stated, “I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to have received the COVID-19 vaccine, and to protect not only myself, but also those around me. I am grateful for those who have spent the past months working on this safe and effective vaccine.”
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center employs athletic trainers in several capacities including the clinical setting and COVID team. Athletic trainers assist providers with patient care as well as manage both onsite and mobile testing programs. These essential roles allow the hospital system to continue treating patients efficiently and help flatten the curve of COVID-19.
“I am honored to work at a hospital that has given us the opportunity to take steps towards ending the pandemic. I am proud to do my part and trust the scientists behind the vaccine,” said Silvana Cespedes, an athletic trainer working in the clinic COVID team.
This is a crucial step to help protect athletic trainers, their patients, and the general public. Increased access to the COVID-19 vaccine will ultimately allow for a return to normal physical activity and organized sports, both of which are essential for the physical and mental health of all New Jerseyans.
For more information related to COVID-19 please visit ATSNJ COVID-19 Informational Resources.