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ARCH Now Certified to Administer COVID-19 Rapid Tests and Vaccines

Melissa Miller, Registered Nurse for ARCH

ROANOKE, VA (November 3, 2021) – ARCH’s registered nurse, Melissa Miller, is now certified to complete onsite rapid COVID-19 testing and administer COVID-19 vaccines for clients, eliminating barriers to vaccination for a particularly vulnerable population. Miller initiated the project and designed the new client program with hopes to expand onsite services to eventually include all types of vaccinations and TB testing.

“I wanted to extend COVID-19 protection to our clients and remove roadblocks to vaccination through one-on-one education from a health professional they trust and onsite availability,” said Milller.

Miller said trusting the source of vaccine information is the biggest barrier for most of the clients she has already spoken to along with misunderstandings of efficacy and benefits and risks. ARCH’s programs include Trust House, a 29-bed homeless shelter, Bethany Hall, an inpatient substance abuse treatment facility, and several permanent housing programs. With the new program in place, the client intake process for all of ARCH’s programs will now include education on the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination in hopes to prevent an onsite outbreak and to mitigate continued spread.

“ARCH has already enforced a COVID-19 vaccine policy for employees which requires proof of vaccination or weekly testing. We feel these new policies are the best way to keep our clients and staff as safe as possible from COVID-19 infection,” said Annie Harvey, executive director of ARCH.

Harvey says once Miller’s idea came to fruition, ARCH’s leadership team realized the potential for expanding to other needed testing and vaccinations. ARCH is looking forward to providing shelter first, building trust with clients and then helping to educate them about the benefits of vaccination.

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