College of Sciences gifts ultra-low temperature freezer to Unity Health for COVID-19 vaccine storage

Dec. 18, 2020 | College of Sciences |

Dr. Roddy Lochala, Chief Medical Officer and Cynthia Warren, Director of Pharmacy

Harding University has gifted an ultra-low temperature freezer to Unity Health – White County Medical Center. The freezer was donated to aid in storing the COVID-19 vaccine that was shipped and delivered across the United States on Monday, Dec. 14.

In April, the University formed a task force to monitor and apply the guidance coming from the CDC and the Arkansas State Department of Health related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it applies to the University as an institution. In addition to campus leadership, the task force is made up of members of the community including physician and chief medical officer of Unity Health Dr. Roddy Lochala. As information about the vaccine was being released, Lochala asked the task force if they were aware of any ultra-low temperature freezers on campus that could increase Unity’s storage capacity.

“Unity Health, represented by Dr. Roddy Lochala, has been a valued partner of Harding as a member of our COVID reopening task force that met weekly for over seven months. When it became clear that Harding could assist Unity by expanding its capacity to offer the COVID vaccine from the Newport location, we were more than happy to help. Unity and Harding have complementary strengths that provide synergy as we jointly serve the residents of Searcy and our surrounding communities,” said Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, vice president for accreditation and institutional effectiveness, associate provost and professor in the College of Pharmacy.

The freezer gifted to Unity Health was originally used by the College of Sciences within the biology department. When the Pryor-England Center for Science and Engineering was under construction and expanding their facilities several years ago, they purchased an additional ultra-low temperature freezer. The freezer was transferred to Unity November 13 with vaccines to arrive in the coming weeks.

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Categories: Academics and University.