COVID vaccine arrives in Ashley County

Employees of the Pillars of the Community received the first round of COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccine clinic in Crossett this week. Pillars owner Todd Hightower was among those who received the vaccine. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)

After months of hearing that vaccines were coming, a  local long-term care facility was able to administer inoculations against Covid-19 in Crossett on Monday evening. 

Katy Ray Morgan, an employee at the Pillars of the Community in Crossett, said that vaccines were administered to employees on Monday night at Gammel’s Pharmacy. 

Morgan said the Pillars is the first long term care facility in the county to get the vaccine. Pillars’ owner Todd Hightower  and his daughter Ashleigh were the first employees of Healthmark services to receive it.

Healthmark Services Inc. is located in Van Buren and has 206 employees across all of its locations in the state. Healthmark is offering the vaccine completely free of charge to residents and staff. Hightower received the vaccine at the Pillars location in Crossett.

The company started reaching out to family members of the residents to answer questions and offer information about the vaccine earlier this month. 

Hightower also did a social media video and said that he would continue to put out information about the vaccine for those interested in more information. 

“As you can imagine, we are extremely excited to finally have the vaccinations here to allow us to move towards reopening our facilities to normal operations,” Hightower said.  

Morgan said the vaccine is not mandatory for those associated with The Pillars at this time. 

“It’s not mandatory, but strongly encouraged, as we work to getting ahead of COVID and back to normal in the safest manner possible,” Morgan said.

State health officials said Tuesday that their goal was for every facility in the state to have a COVID vaccination clinic offered by Jan. 16.

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