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DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND HEALTH IMPROVEMENT

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UPPER CHESAPEAKE HEALTH

When faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and all the hospital and community health needs, Vickie Bands stepped up and met every challenge.

Bands planned, implemented and led the fit-test process and education for University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health’s (UM UCH) team members and medical staff for N95, P100 and Elastomeric masks in just six weeks.

Bands also earned acclaim for planning and managing operations for the large-scale Harford County COVID-testing, with total tests exceeding 27,322.

“Whenever there was a need, she was the first one to lean in and figure out solutions,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Fermin Barrueto said. “When the hospital needed help, she and her team would jump in and help, from team member testing to bedside clinical care.”

UM UCH was the first organization in the state to start COVID testing. Bands started testing in Bel Air using a medical mobile van and then started Harford County’s Mass testing site, completely staffed and run by the UM UCH Community Outreach. Then, she planned a mass testing event at Ripken Staditum in Aberdeen and performed more than 740 tests in the summer heat, wrapped in personal protective equipment.

She also designed the first indoor COVID testing center, with negative pressure, which became the prototype for the state for indoor testing.

In Dec. 2020, Bands organized a hospital effort to deliver COVID vaccines to employees and vulnerable populations, vaccinating more than 35,954 people. Then, she ran mobile clinics in Harford County schools, as well as two Hispanic vaccine clinics with bilingual staff.

Bands is motivated by helping people who have little preventative health care and improving the community’s quality of life.

“The need is so great in this population, anything to help improve their quality of life and understanding of their health is a benefit not only to them, but many times to their other family members as well,” Bands said.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.