Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Jo Steinberg, Midland Health president
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Jo Steinberg's quick action saved thousands of doses of Covid vaccine back in March. As president and CEO of Midland Health, her company provides on-site vaccines for companies. She had ordered 2,000 vaccine doses, but her clients cancelled. She got in touch with the city of Mequon and organized a pop-up clinic to make the doses available to the public.
"It was just miraculous how some things just fell into place," Steinberg said.
She is still marveling at how it all came together. Sitting in Mequon's council chamber now, everything is back to normal.
"This is where we social distance," Steinberg can be heard saying in a video she shot on her cellphone.
That cellphone video from March shows what she was able to pull off.
"Oh, it was a total surprise. I had two large companies that were scheduled, and because not everybody was eligible, they decided to push off the clinics," she explained.
Even as president of Midland Health, it wasn't easy for Steinberg to get those doses of the Covid vaccine back in March.
"That was quite the process," Steinberg said. "People don't understand that just not any Tom, Dick and Harry could get vaccine."
But with vaccines ordered and on the way, she had to think of a solution quickly to find a way to use them.
"Well here I am with 2,000 shots coming in, and no arms," she said.
William Jones is the Mequon city administrator.
"Jo Steinberg is a ball of fire," Jones said.
When the city got word that Steinberg wanted to coordinate a pop-up clinic, the wheels started turning.
"We thought it was a great opportunity to utilize our facility here at city hall to make Covid vaccinations more convenient and more accessible," Jones recalled.
Steinberg was impressed by how fast it all came together. It only took about 10 days.
"Totally unexpected. They said, no, we will help you in any way possible. You can have city hall. I was just dumbfounded. Excited and dumbfounded all at the same time, it was wonderful," Steinberg said.
The location provided the space for social distancing.
"See, that was the key," she said. "I needed to have people that could spread out."
She also needed room for a big crowd, which Jones said he realized they were going to have.
"Initially, the phones were ringing off the hook," he said. "At that point in time, not a lot of the population had received the vaccine. So, there was a great level of interest in finding out more about the clinics that we were hosting."
Steinberg had nurses lined up to give the shots, but they needed more help.
"But this is where the miracle came in, the volunteers. They came out of the woodwork," she said.
All working together to get people vaccinated.
"They didn't just come from Mequon. They came from everywhere," Steinberg remembered.
Jones said clinics like this one helped in a big way with the vaccine rollout.
"I think pop-up clinics like this have done a great service towards increasing the number of overall individuals that have received the vaccine," he said.
Steinberg is still trying to reach everyone she can.
"Even if you don't want a shot, get it for someone you love," she recommended.
And she said she is still getting requests to hold pop-up clinics. For more information, click here.
If you'd like to nominate someone for Natalie's Everyday Heroes, send Natalie a message at [email protected]