MERRILL – Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital has begun providing COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline caregivers, Ascension announced this week. 

Radiologic Technologist Jason Romig and Patient Access Representative Amber LePage were among the first Merrill-based Ascension associates to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The effort is part of a multi-phased program that will expand to other caregivers and locations as more doses become available and the distribution process progresses. 

“We are confident our plan will effectively and safely contribute to the protection of the communities we are privileged to serve,” said Gregory Brusko, DO, Chief Clinical Officer, Ascension Wisconsin, in a news release.

Ascension Wisconsin is following guidance issued by the CDC and recommendations of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. 

“We are thankful for all who have made this vaccine possible and for the continued dedication of our selfless caregivers,” said Jonathon Matuszewski, Chief Administrative Officer, Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital, in the release. “Our initial vaccine distribution will include our frontline healthcare workers and will soon reach out to include community EMS partners. As we await widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, it will be critical for our entire community to continue wearing masks, watching distance from others and washing hands frequently to protect ourselves and those around us.” 

In accordance with these guidelines, among the first group eligible to receive the vaccines are frontline caregivers – particularly those serving in emergency departments, COVID-19 units and intensive care units. For Ascension, this includes both associates and affiliated physicians and providers. 

Ascension hospitals and emergency rooms remain prepared to safely care for people with symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, respiratory distress, emergent mental health concerns or other serious illness or injury.

Ascension Wisconsin sites of care will share information about the availability of the vaccine when it is available for consumers. 

Additional information, including FAQs, about the COVID-19 vaccine is available at