University News

College of Pharmacy Professor Dr. Melissa Mattison to Serve on City of Springfield 'Vax Force'

Published: March 12, 2021 | Categories: All News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Faculty
Dr. Melissa Mattison standing at the door of the WNE University College of Pharmacy Community Patient Care Center

College of Pharmacy Associate Professor Dr. Melissa Mattison has been selected to serve on Springfield’s Vax Force committee. Vax Force is a COVID-19 vaccine education committee created by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris. The Vax Force committee provides credible COVID-19 resources and education to the residents of Springfield and works to debunk vaccine myths.

“I am truly honored to work with the task force in providing guidance and reassurance to Springfield residents with regard to the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Mattison.

Mayor Sarno and Commissioner Caulton-Harris will join with the Vax Force committee to host a COVID-19 Town Hall virtual meeting on Tuesday, March 16 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. The Springfield Vax Force committee will provide COVID-19 resources and education to the citizens of Springfield using science and data to guide decision-making and explain the vaccination process while also answering resident questions.

Dr. Mattison was one of the first pharmacists in Massachusetts to begin immunizing in 2006 and led training efforts for the immunization program for Walgreens pharmacists in Massachusetts. Dr. Mattison is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Community Care, specializing in obesity and weight loss. She is the clinical director of the Community Patient Care Center on the WNE University campus and has recently assumed the role of Executive Director of Professional Affairs.

Dr. Mattison joins a distinguished group of diverse, respected and trusted individuals from the Springfield community that comprise the Springfield Vax Force committee chaired by Helen Caulton-Harris. Members of the committee include Tom Ashe, Mayor’s Chief of Staff, City of Springfield; Elsie Sanchez, Chair, Medical Reserve Corp.; Kathleen Szegda, Ph.D., Public Health Institute of Western MA; Jeffrey Scavron, M.D., Public Health Council; Brightwood Health Center; Andrew Balder, M.D., Mason Square Health Center / HSH; Maria Ligus, CEO, New North Citizens Council; Jose Claudio, COO, New North Citizens Council; Sarah McAdoo, M.D., UMass Population Health Capstone Director; Denise Jordan, Executive Director, Springfield Housing Authority; Jeanne Clancy, Public Health Council; Nursing Supervisory Springfield Public Schools; Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Baystate Health; Wesley Days, Public Health Council; UMass Springfield; Tracy Chappell, Stone Soul Festival Coordinator.

“Pharmacy Practice faculty at Western New England University contribute to patient care in the Springfield area on a daily basis and in a wide range of settings,” said Dr. Charles Caley Chair and Professor of Pharmacy Practice. “Since January 4, pharmacists in Massachusetts, including Dr. Mattison, have been administering COVID vaccinations to patients in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. This strengthens the public health value that pharmacists have and serves as an exemplary model for our PharmD students to learn from and emulate.”

For more information about the Western New England University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences visit

The Vax Force Town Hall can be viewed by registering at the following link: