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Denise Snyder works to keep Rollins safe

Snyder, Wellness Center plan to bring vaccines to campus

For the past year, Denise Snyder, associate director of the Wellness Center, has been working hard to keep the Rollins community safe from COVID-19. 

Snyder received a promotion from assistant director to associate director of the Wellness Center at the beginning of January. She has an extensive background in internal medicine, cardiology, and retail clinic management. With her knowledge and expertise, the Wellness Center is able to create and enforce regulations to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

Due to the pandemic, Snyder’s days primarily consist of administrative work rather than seeing students. She begins at 7:30 a.m., submitting required documents to the state of Florida and to Orange County. 

At 8:30 a.m., the Wellness Center opens. Snyder checks the off-site testing location at Print Services to make sure that they are well prepared for that day’s testing. She also attends a few meetings in the morning that consist of different care cases, and her metrics team meets Monday through Friday to create and update the COVID-19 dashboard. 

Snyder often leaves the office at 5 p.m., but her work does not end until around 9:00 p.m., as COVID-19 cases can arrive in the evenings. Contact tracers will notify her if there are any positive cases or contacts that need to quarantine. 

Initially, the Wellness Center was open Monday through Friday; however, Snyder now helps supervise and provide COVID-19 testing, support, and care for students through the weekend. 

“She has been responsible for the logistics of everything, coordinating the testing, and the COVID-19 operations team to make sure that students’ experiences are ones where they can easily and quickly get appointments,” said Connie Briscoe, director of the Wellness Center. 

Snyder has been trying to stay one step ahead of COVID-19 from the beginning. She and the Wellness Center are planning to provide vaccinations to members of the Rollins community. 

In early December, the Wellness Center applied, through the state of Florida, to be a COVID-19 vaccination site. The center is now waiting on the state of Florida and executive orders from the governor. 

“We have a plan in place for our COVID-19 vaccine distribution, but that plan still could be shifted based on state guidance,” said Snyder. “We have the staffing for it, and if we were to get it tomorrow, we would be ready to start vaccinating our campus community.” 

Snyder has also been working to make sure that students are notified about their results in a timely manner, collaborating with licensed officials. Snyder communicates regularly with Rollins’ assigned Orange County Public Health Department epidemiologist, Jennifer Finnegan, who consults with Snyder to develop policies and protocols. 

The Wellness Center has been taking advantage of technology and social media to remind students of steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Through online platforms, they are able to assist students who are participating in distance-learning by providing information about online workshops. 

Snyder has also placed an importance on mental health, recognizing the anxieties that this pandemic can cause. To keep the Rollins community safe, it is crucial that students continue to follow the protocols and the Tars Promise. Snyder’s message for all students is to think about what self-care can look like and how we can navigate through these times.

My most important words of advice are not to become complacent about our pandemic protocols and requirements; we are all tired of the changes required of us, but we have to summon the determination and endurance to see this through,” said President Grant Cornwell. “It is our collective compliance that has enabled us to do as well as we have thus far.”

Many people throughout the Rollins community are grateful for Snyder and her work with the Wellness Center.

“I have so much respect and admiration for the way Connie Briscoe, Denise Snyder, and the whole Wellness Center embraced the awesome responsibilities thrust upon them by this pandemic,” said Cornwell. “They have met every challenge with calm, creative, and committed professionalism.”

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