HCN News & Notes

WNEU College of Pharmacy Professor to Serve on City of Springfield Vax Force

SPRINGFIELD — Dr. Melissa Mattison, associate professor in the Western New England University (WNEU) College of Pharmacy, has been selected to serve on Springfield’s Vax Force committee. Vax Force is a COVID-19 vaccine-education committee created by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris. The Vax Force committee provides credible COVID-19 resources and education to the residents of Springfield and works to debunk vaccine myths.

“I am truly honored to work with the task force in providing guidance and reassurance to Springfield residents with regard to the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines,” Mattison said.

Sarno and Caulton-Harris will join with the Vax Force committee to host a COVID-19 town-hall virtual meeting on Tuesday, March 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Springfield Vax Force committee will provide COVID-19 resources and education to the citizens of Springfield using science and data to guide decision making and explain the vaccination process while also answering residents’ questions.

Mattison was one of the first pharmacists in Massachusetts to begin immunizing in 2006 and led training efforts for the immunization program for Walgreens pharmacists in Massachusetts. She is currently a clinical associate professor of Community Care, specializing in obesity and weight loss. She is the clinical director of the Community Patient Care Center on the WNEU campus and recently assumed the role of executive director of Professional Affairs.

“Pharmacy practice faculty at Western New England University contribute to patient care in the Springfield area on a daily basis and in a wide range of settings,” said Dr. Charles Caley, chair and professor of Pharmacy Practice. “Since January 4, pharmacists in Massachusetts, including Dr. Mattison, have been administering COVID vaccinations to patients in nursing homes and long-term-care facilities. This strengthens the public-health value that pharmacists have and serves as an exemplary model for our PharmD students to learn from and emulate.”