COVID-19 Information and Data
The City of Medford honors volunteers and staff members that assisted the Medford Health Department throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volunteers and staff helped run several programs, testing sites, and vaccination clinics, including the ‘Are You Okay? Program,’ checking in on the City’s more vulnerable population. Many also delivered medicine, food, supplies, conducted contact tracing, and more.
“In the face of unforeseen challenges, like the pandemic, it has been truly inspiring to see our community work together as one,” said Mayor Lungo-Koehn. “Our many volunteers helped us navigate through the pandemic and take care of those in need. Everyone that volunteered alongside City staff is the reason we were able to reopen safely and revitalize our community after the worse days of the pandemic.”
“The hundreds of volunteers that offered their time and support during the pandemic were essential to the operations of our Health Department’s programming,” said MaryAnn O’Connor, Health Director. “Because of you, we were able to help so many in need and save lives. You will always be our Public Health Heroes.”
The pandemic emergency may be over, but Mayor Lungo-Koehn and the Medford Health Department will never forget all the impact of these volunteers and other city colleagues from 2020-2023.
Volunteers and staff alike were asked for comments, thoughts, photos, and stories about their experience.
I grew up with the values of doing what is best for your family, team, community- the greater good. This crisis was a perfect opportunity to rise to that occasion.
There couldn’t have been a better group of people to make the sacrifices for than the volunteers who came forward, my co-workers, city and department leadership, and most importantly all the people who felt touched by the response we as a community were able to put together.
We all made each other better, we certainly made each other mad, but we all did what was needed and grew in the process. Thank you all for making me a better person!
--I love you all! Brooke Hoyt
It was very helpful mentally, to know I was doing something to help my local community and the larger world community in crisis at that time. Thank you for organizing the support.
I loved volunteering to provide vaccines during the pandemic. It was one of the things that has given me the most joy in these difficult years. I loved everyone I worked with and how much they have gone above and beyond. The sense of community I felt in Medford is one that I'd love to spread more of in our streets.
The thanks of those we help more than compensates for the time we spend. Gratitude is a priceless gift.
I want to say how much I appreciated being able to do something for our community during the lockdown and pandemic. Being part of the "Are you Okay?" food delivery service, through the MRC, was invigorating and purposeful during an unsettling and crazy time. All of the work I was involved in felt very well organized and I always had someone to reach out to if I needed help with what I said I would do as part of 'the team'. Thank You
I had an opportunity to be a part of something in my community that was bigger than I am. Being a part of the volunteer squad in the City of Medford during COVID means a lot to me. I was at first hesitant until the revision of the program ended up being one of the best programs helping citizens. Furthermore, I was trusted to be involved in delivering food to some Medford families. My love for the city allowed me to help as best as I can.
I appreciated the ability to connect with and support Medford residents at a time of significant stress and concern. Managing the Language Access Team was rewarding as we were helping people who were most disconnected from city's services due to their primary language not being English.
Coming into a new city during a pandemic wasn’t the easiest (or smartest decision) someone could have made, but the volunteers and emergency staff that helped during my two years as the PHN manager made it all worth it. Being able to utilize amazing volunteers from all areas of Medford really helped me learn how much love people have for the city. Thank you for all the laughs, heavy lifting, and of course helping to keep Medford as protected and vaccinated as we could!
--Sara Harris, MSN-RN
We were proud to be able to administer vaccines for Medford's Health Department, one of the most proactive and effective health departments during the pandemic.
-- Stephen Pompeo
Having the opportunity to Volunteer and helping to protect people-- all groups including health care workers to our elderly over 75. All of this and visiting Senior Housing during the Pandemic and seeing so many others willing to do the same really moved me.
When I reflect on the work the volunteers did in conjunction with the city, I am proud and happy to have played a role in this process from the very beginning. It was the people at City Hall and others that made the process work.
The pandemic was a complex time for me. There was so much that needed to be done on so many fronts. There were phases: Are you Okay, return to school, holiday spread and finally vaccines came rolling through. All the while the volunteers were there to back us up. They gave ideas, opinions, and helped to shape each approach. They gave time and hope to the community. Some gave comfort by listening and some delivered food, but all were proud to help. I grew from what I witnessed. The willingness of the volunteers to jump into action and the reliability of so many, provided insight for me into my personal life so I might I ask for help more.
-- Penelope Funaiole
We feel it was such a privilege to be able to help with Medford’s vaccine program during the COVID19 pandemic. I helped to vaccinate, and my husband assisted as my scribe. We will never forget the horror of watching the national & local news broadcasting the shocking death toll prior to the approval of the vaccines. Remembering the human connection of being able to look at the thankful eyes of the masked first responders, elderly, caregivers, housing residents, Tufts University students/professors/staff, young adults, children & our homebound will not be forgotten. I was fortunate to help with the surrounding communities of Malden, Melrose, and Wakefield. as well.
The most touching moment was at the Medford Police Station was when one woman had tears of joy as she received her 1st vaccine. Much Regards,
--Pat and Bill Hansen
While I wished I could do more to help during the pandemic, I was glad to be able to do something through my weekly grocery deliveries. My two young sons came with me a few times and were able to see how a community can work together to help each other in a time of crisis.
As a school nurse during this time it was so challenging. Toni Wray guided us through, then the battalion was given to Avery Hines. I know they both had sleepless nights and exhausting days. They both powered though, keeping up with constant developments and changes, keeping their cool at all times. Dealing with the whole school communities’ anxieties! I am truly thankful for their leadership during this most challenging time, as both a nurse and as an individual. Both are class acts!!
---Patricia Cooney RN, M.Ed, NCSN
It was a total pleasure to be able to coordinate the "Are You Ok?" efforts in my neighborhood - The Hillside. The volunteers that served with me were gracious, conscientious, and joyful in a time when it seemed more natural to "withdraw" and "hunker down". Those that I was able to personally contact - many of whom were "fine" and didn't need services - nevertheless appreciated the city's efforts to be proactive in seeking opportunities to serve our citizens. Again, at a time that seemed to isolate us, it was healing to "fight for community" in any way that we could. I appreciated the opportunity that Medford gave me to serve in this way.
Thank you for wanting to recognize volunteers. A city is as strong as its leaders and citizens. The fact that you immediately stepped up and tried to help our “seasoned” citizens during the crisis was wonderful. I am so happy that I was able to reach out to people and offer help and hope for so many. I absolutely loved speaking with all the people I called and was grateful I could help in this way.
That is the Medford I grew up in - helping people through difficult times.
We were and are Medford Strong! God bless you all!
--Ginny Del Signore
I have had a great time helping out families with food delivery during Covid. I’m really happy that we made it through together.
It was a great achievement! Congratulations on Great work!
The Medford Board of Health was incredible in the response to the Pandemic! It was unprecedented for all of us and the support that was given by the BOH to the Medford Housing Authority was amazing. With their support we were able to hold numerous COVID vaccine clinics at all our Senior/Disabled properties, distribute masks, health information and COVID tests. Through the RYOK initiative, we were able to reach out to residents to assess medication, food, and isolation. It was a time when community came together to care and support each other.
Volunteering as a nurse, vaccinating people from age 5 to 99, was a time I will carry with me always. Thank you,
Board of Health, for all the work, thought, effort, and creativity that you put into holding these clinics and home visits. The Covid years were such a scary time for everyone, and each shot in the arm felt like we were lifting some of the fear and getting closer to ending the pandemic. I will always be so grateful for this opportunity.
It was a true honor to be able to volunteer at the vaccine clinics that the Board of Health organized. I will look back on this time with pride for my city, and gratitude for Medford being able to help so many residents, bringing them hope and comfort. We vaccinated people from age 5 to 95, at clinics and in their homes, and I can't thank the Board of Health team enough for being excellent leaders and organizers during the early days of Covid.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Medford Health Department and the City of Medford for allowing me to serve the community as a volunteer for community events and programs. I was a scribe at the COVID-19 vaccination sites, where I checked people in, answered their questions, and directed them to the appropriate vaccination station. I also helped with the post-vaccination observation period, which involved monitoring individuals for any signs of allergic reaction.
Additionally, I found it fulfilling to work with a nurse in home-to-home vaccination.
Volunteering gave me a better understanding of life and the daily impacts healthcare workers create to keep individuals and communities safe. I will never forget meeting the mayor at one of the school's vaccination sites and farmers' market, and the verbal appreciation we received from the community members. It was an unforgettable experience to have worked with people who were excited and hopeful amid the pandemic.
I appreciated the importance of vaccination, and my experience as a volunteer was gratifying. Helping community members get vaccinated is an effective strategy to fight against COVID-19 to decrease the rate of hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality rates. We all made a difference in the fight against the virus. I enjoyed interacting with nurses, public health professionals, and other volunteer members.
In conclusion, I am most satisfied knowing I contributed to the fight against COVID-19 infection. I am grateful for the opportunity to have volunteered and positively impacted the community.
There are so many great experiences and amazing people I met over the Covid response, but I want to share one of my most inspired moments.
I travelled one day with nurse Amy to visit John. Amy and I administered his first round of vaccine. We both enjoyed meeting him, but we could tell he could use a little more help than just a vaccine.
On our second visit to John, Amy did something so kind and very inspirational. Amy brought with her some tennis balls to place on John's walker to make it easier to move. Then she took out a set of clippers and told John she wanted to give him a haircut, something John had not done in a long time. John was humbled and accepted Amy's offer.
We set up a chair in the kitchen and Amy proceeded to give John a haircut. It was much more than a haircut for John. What Amy did was show that someone really cared about him. You could see the smile on John's face and how happy he was when he saw how he looked all cleaned up.
I have many great memories of people like Amy. Many of the people I called during different facets of the pandemic response have called me back just to ask a question or simply say hello.
I am sure there are more heroes like Amy, but she is the one I will remember. I am so proud to be a part of the city's response to such a deadly pandemic.
Are You Okay? Over 11500 seniors called.
March/April 2020 Phase 1 (grass roots effort of many volunteers) starts with a list of over 11,500 seniors called by volunteers with around 5232 seniors contacted with a 35% contact rate.
May/June/July/Aug 2020 Are You Okay? Program (Phase 2) supported by some of the same volunteers plus many more who joined the calling force for phase 2.
Public Health Heroes – Statistics
Throughout the pandemic until Aug 31, 2022, many sources reached out for help for themselves or on behalf of others.
Below is a breakdown of some of the services.
Multi-Lingual Resource Line
Initiated in late 2020, the City Resource line was later renamed Multi-Lingual Resource Line to encourage all community members to take advantage of the call line. The greetings and follow up to questions are available to the callers in English as well as Arabic, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish
Calls throughout the pandemic ranged from complaining about businesses not following rules to vaccine questions like where and how to register, how to get a lost vaccine card replaced, contact tracing and vaccines for how to get the elderly and disabled a vaccine at home. The stats below are through the end of August 2022; however, the resource line continues to get calls of all types.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped answer calls and make outgoing calls on behalf of the Multi-Lingual Resource Line - still a very important part of city dynamics today.
Vaccinating at Clinics and at Homes
The City of Medford is a leader in getting vaccines out to the public, kicked off by a First Responders clinic in mid-January of 2020. The statistics here represented vaccines whether it was 1st, 2nd, Booster or Bivalent Booster. Each vaccine takes equal effort. These numbers provide an idea how many volunteers and staff were required to get the job done.
- MA COVID-19 vaccine website: www.mass.gov/covidvaccine
- MA COVID-19 updates and resources: www.mass.gov/covid-19
- MA COVID-19 vaccine clinic location finder: vaxfinder.mass.gov
- City COVID-19 updates and resources: www.medfordma.org/coronavirus-information
- Sign up for City alerts: www.medfordma.org/alerts
Important Phone Numbers
- Mass 2-1-1: dial 2-1-1
- Medford Multilingual Resource Line: 781-475-5644
- Medford Council on Aging: 781-396-6010
- Medford Housing Authority: Call 781-396-7200 and ask to leave a message with Lisa Tonello or Barbara Fleming.
- West Medford Community Center: 781-483-3042
- City Hall main line & directory: 781-396-5500
- Mayor’s Office: 781-393-2408