Appointment angels: Officer, office manager help with vaccinations

MILLBURY — When the pandemic shut down his Lake Township Neighborhood Watch program and shut in the
mostly seniors who participated, Ron Craig became a lifeline.
First, it was by calling people to check in on them, putting gas in cars and dropping groceries on
Then the community policing officer became a true lifesaver, navigating the vaccine appointment system
for seniors and helping to set up local clinics.
“A lot of them didn’t have computers or didn’t have internet access or email. The only alternative for
them was to dial 211,” Craig said.
The phone system, though, was almost always busy.
Craig, who has been doing part-time community policing work for three years, approached Lake Township
Police Chief Mark Hummer about helping.
“He gave me the green light to do whatever I could,” Craig said.
For the first two weeks, he continually checked multiple websites, multiple times a day — but he ended up
just as frustrated as the people he was trying to help.
“In two weeks time, I got one person an appointment,” he said.
Craig switched tactics and reached out to his pharmacist at Walgreens in Perrysburg. She said they did
not have any extra vaccines, but the Bowling Green store did. The pharmacist there said she had 30 spots
“I took all 30,” said Craig, who registered his residents himself.
“The following week, they had a clinic at the senior center in Walbridge. I found out they had about 50
openings there.”
He contacted the Wood County Health Department and grabbed the slots.
“At that point, we got about 80 people done. But I had over 100 people still on the list,” Craig said.

He again contacted the health department, inquiring about holding another clinic locally. When they
agreed, he lined up MainStreet Church in Moline, where the township neighborhood watch meetings are
held, as the venue.
There were 100 vaccinations done.
“I’m just one small part of it. I don’t think I’m doing anything that I wasn’t hired to do,” said Craig,
who is 64 and has received a vaccine.
“That’s all I’m doing, just my job. I’m only one small cog in the wheel that makes this program
successful,” he said, citing the health department, pharmacies and church.
His work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“We need more Ron Craigs, we need more people like this,” said Wood County Health Commissioner Ben
Robison. “We will never be able to fill every gap as a single agency. We love what he’s done. It’s a
phenomenal story.”
CNN sent a crew out to film a segment for their “Beyond the Call of Duty” series which aired last month.

At Tuesday’s Lake Township Trustees meeting, the board offered their thanks.
“You’re doing a great job, Ron. You’ve saved a lot of lives,” Welling said.