Liberty County vaccine hub seeing increase in patients from larger counties

Many people are now traveling to smaller counties to get vaccinated faster.

CLEVELAND, Texas – The Texas Emergency Hospital in Liberty County was designated as a vaccination hub by the state about eight weeks ago. Since then, medical workers have vaccinated over 10,000 patients in a county of less than 90,000 people.

As the chief operation officer, Patti Foster, walked through the hospital, her passion for serving patients shined with each step.

“We want to help people. That’s what we’re here for,” Foster said. “When the state told us, ‘You are going to be a vaccine hub.’ We had four days to get everything up and running”.

The biggest hurdle for the hospital was figuring out a way to facilitate appointments for thousands of people.

“We didn’t have time to get any kind of computer system up or a phone-call system up, so we actually have live people on the phone talking with people to get their information,” Foster said.

The hospital used to see about 40 patients a day, but now with vaccinations, they’re closer to 1,000. With so many new patients, the hospital had to make some new hires, which included Desiree King, a licensed nurse.

“My favorite part about all of this is the thought of helping to save lives,” King said.

Foster graduated from nursing school in December and was hired last week. Now, she vaccinates about 200 people a day and is meeting people from around the country.

“One of the furthest patients we had was a lady from San Francisco who came back for her second dose,” Foster said.

Now, a small-town hospital with plenty of charm has turned into an epicenter for fighting the coronavirus.

“We are a beginning to an end here, of fighting COVID, and that’s what we are going to do,” said Foster.

If you would like to sign up for the Texas Emergency Hospital vaccination waitlist, call 281-806-7370 or 281-806-7380.

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