Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Two Munson nurses at forefront of COVID-19 vaccination tracking

Image of Nurses discussing COVID-19 documentation. Nurses Ashley Woodruff (left) and Erin Richter, discuss documentation of COVID-19 vaccines for the electronic medical records on April 21 at Munson Army Health Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (Photo by: Tracy McClung, Munson Army Health Center Public Affairs).

Munson Army Health Center civilian nurses Ashley Woodruff and Erin Richter have been responsible for administering and charting 80% of the nearly 14,000 COVID-19 vaccinations given so far to service members, their families, and retirees at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military medical treatment facility.

Munson's motto is "constant dedicated care," and Woodruff and Richter embody those qualities.

Woodruff and Richter, both licensed practical nurses, work in the Munson multiservice specialty clinic, where, in addition to the COVID-19 vaccinations, they are responsible for ensuring the military population is medically ready for deployment. They are also responsible for improving, protecting, and promoting immunization health care for service members, military families and retirees who use Munson as their health center or who are changing service locations or going outside the continental United States.

The Fort Leavenworth area has more than 25,000 beneficiaries enrolled in the Military Health System there, said Army Lt. Col. Ira Waite, deputy commander for nursing and patient services at Munson.

Waite said Woodruff and Richter "have been doing a yeoman's effort as the primary personnel working on the COVID-19 vaccinations and ensuring that all regulations and policies are being followed."

COVID-19 vaccinations have been available at Munson since late December, and Woodruff and Richter have been in overdrive until recently. The largest single-day effort was 1,200 vaccinations. After that single-day vaccine team push, Woodruff and Richter managed the documentation of the doses within a few days, Waite said.

"We've learned to become highly adaptive," Woodruff said of the vaccination effort. "Guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations was changing sometimes by the hour, as were the timings of vaccination appointments. This really forced us to communicate better with our patients. We learned to say to patients: "We will get through this together, but we are not always sure exactly how.'"

Both nurses work with other military service personnel daily.

"Military nurses come in with a fresh outlook and perspective on things," Woodruff said. "This makes it easier for us and better for the patient."

Said Richter: "As health care workers, we are all in the same situation...seeing the next bump in the road during the pandemic. We use new advice daily for the best patient care, but it's a team effort, and we support one another as family."

As for strides made during the pandemic, Richter said it came in the form of supporting one another.

"We had to find new resources and build new relationships in order to support one another mentally or physically," she said.

Woodruff attended Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for her nurse training; and has been a government nurse for 14 years – 10 of those at Leavenworth.

Richter, a former military dependent who spent the most time growing up in Oklahoma, got her training at Kansas City Community College. She has been a nurse for eight years and is coming up on her fifth anniversary at Leavenworth.

"The biggest thing is that through the COVID-19 vaccination effort, Woodruff and Richter have been able to work together with the team, they've trained others and made sure regulations were followed," Waite said. "Being able to communicate well and to be able to share communication and knowledge to those around them has been notable. They've done a lot individually but also the additional work has enabled us to get the results we see today."

You also may be interested in...

Infographic
Apr 13, 2023

Nurse Week: Navy

Nurses Make a Difference. Any time, Anywhere - Always

During National Nurses Week, we celebrate extraordinary nurses across the #DHA committed to delivering exceptional health care, anytime, anywhere — always. Thank you, #DHANurses! www.health.mil/nursesweek #NursesWeek

Infographic
Apr 13, 2023

Nurses Week: Army

Nurses Make a Difference. Any time, Anywhere - Always

During National Nurses Week, we celebrate extraordinary nurses across the #DHA committed to delivering exceptional health care, anytime, anywhere — always. Thank you, #DHANurses! www.health.mil/nursesweek #NursesWeek

Infographic
Apr 13, 2023

Nurses Week: Air Force

Nurses Make a Difference. Anytime, Anywhere - Always

During National Nurses Week, we celebrate extraordinary nurses across the #DHA committed to delivering exceptional health care, anytime, anywhere — always. Thank you, #DHANurses! www.health.mil/nursesweek #NursesWeek

Article Around MHS
Jan 11, 2023

Air Guard Flight Nurse Receives Distinguished Flying Cross

Katie Lunning receiving Distinguished Flying Cross

She's the first Air National Guard flight nurse to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. Learn more about how Maj. Katie Lunning endured two weeks of live-saving humanitarian missions in Afghanistan - and how her bravery under fire culminated in the single largest aeromedical evacuation airlift in Kabul Coalition Hospital’s history.

Article Around MHS
Dec 14, 2022

Public Health Nurses: Heroes for Health

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Tracy R. Kraus head shot

In a world where public health is constantly being challenged, the need for front-line contenders in the fight against threats is rapidly increasing. The work of the Public Health Nurse is nothing short of heroic. Learn more about the extraordinary dedication and arduous work it takes for Public Health Nurses to keep the warfighter population healthy ...

Article Around MHS
Dec 2, 2022

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Visiting Nurse Program Celebrates 100 Years

Shannon Williams, visiting nurse for Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society

The Visiting Nurse Program of Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) organization provides specialized care to the communities they serve around the world. Founded on November 25, 1922 when Nell Watson was hired as the first visiting nurse at the Parris Island Branch Auxiliary, the program celebrated its centennial anniversary Nov. 25, 2022.

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 06, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery