Ms. Maraldine Hill, Gateway foster parent, administers vaccines to Jefferson County residents.
Ms. Maraldine Hill has gone above and beyond to #CareThroughCOVID not only as a foster parent, but also administering more than 300 COVID-19 vaccines per day to Jefferson County residents. Ms. Hill has served as a Gateway foster parent for 14 years, and she has also served the Jefferson County Department of Health for more than 25 years.
When asked about her experience working to administer the vaccine, she stated, “The Health Department asked employees for help specifically with rolling out the vaccinations. It is a huge task to get this out to everyone, and so I decided to do it. I have been working since we started, even on some Saturdays, because it is important to get this out quickly.”
Several of Gateway staff, when getting their vaccinations, were tended to by Ms. Hill. They noted how it immediately put them at ease to see a familiar face and have someone they know answer questions about what to expect. When asked what drove her to volunteer she stated, “My mom always told me to treat people like I want to be treated, so I live by that golden rule. In this case, people may already be nervous about getting the vaccine so it has been good to be able to help make people feel comfortable while sharing a little kindness.”
Like many others, Ms. Hill was also nervous before getting the vaccine, so Ms. Hill consulted her doctor about it. “I even had some concerns at first because it was so new, but I talked to my doctor who has been over my department of the Jefferson County Department of Health for over 20 years. He is an expert in infectious diseases and after speaking with him I realized it was so important to get it and not to wait. He said to get it as soon as possible, because the alternative of potentially getting the virus would be much worse than any side effects of it. Having that conversation with my doctor made me feel good about getting the vaccine, and I am able to transfer that knowledge to others to reassure them too.
And not only is it important to get the vaccine, but afterward, it is crucial to still follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread. We still need everyone to wear your mask, wash your hands, and socially distance whenever possible.”
Ms. Hill is a true leader in our community as both a valued healthcare worker and foster parent. When asked about the importance of foster parenting during this time she said, “A lot of foster kids are going through so much, especially right now, and nourishment, a stable environment and unconditional love goes a long way. They need and want time and attention. For you to treat them as your own.”
Ms. Hill encourages everyone to consult with their doctor and do their part in getting vaccinated.
“We are all in this together, and this affects everybody. It isn’t discriminating. This pandemic has been really scary, but we just have to get the vaccine to help bring it to an end. It breaks my heart to see those we have lost, but you just got to take care of yourself, do what you got to do, and we’ll all get through this.”
We are honored to have Ms. Hill as part of the Gateway family and am beyond grateful to her and everyone doing their part to keep others safe in this time.
COVID-19 Vaccination Information:
For more information about the vaccine, as well as details on vaccination eligibility and scheduling, visit the Alabama Department of Health's website, alcovidvaccine.gov.