Rockford, IL,
17:23 PM

OSF Saint Anthony Receives COVID-19 vaccine

COVID vaccine

The first OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center Mission Partners (employees) received COVID-19 vaccines today.

"We feel blessed to be able to provide this protection to our frontline workers, and we look forward to the day when the vaccine is available to everyone so we can move forward together," said OSF Saint Anthony President Paula Carynski."

Kristi Polfliet, RN, Emergency Department, was the first Mission Partner at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony to receive the COVID vaccine.

 “It’s a good step for all the Mission Partners, quite honestly. It’s an exciting day for all of us," Polfliet said. "We’ve been waiting for it for a while. It’s an honor to be the first, but it’s the first of many.”

Polfliet has been a nurse at OSF Saint Anthony for 30 years, but the past year has been the most difficult.  

 “It’s been really challenging. It really has," she said. "It’s been unprecedented. It’s the word we keep using. We’ve had to learn to adapt and adjust and think on the fly. Overall, it’s been pretty successful but it’s been really challenging."

Phyllis Hernandez is a laboratory assistant at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. She agrees with Polflliet. 

“It’s been tough," she said. "It’s a huge workload, but every day is a new day. We have learned to overcome and go with the flow. And do better. We do better every day.”

Hernandez lost a brother to COVID-19 and has another brother battling the virus.

“It’s scary. It’s devastating what it’s done everywhere," she said. "My hope is we can get a grip and get back to the way things used to be.”

Video Interview Clips 

View Kristi Polfleit, first of many
Kristi Polfleit, first of many
View Kristi Polfliet, challenging
Kristi Polfliet, challenging
View Phyllis Hernandez, tough
Phyllis Hernandez, tough
View Phyllis Hernandez, scary
Phyllis Hernandez, scary

Video B-Roll