Waterloo Pharmacy co-op student recognized in media

Monday, October 18, 2021

By: Namish Modi

A student and a professor from the University of Waterloo are working to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake in rural Ontario.

Dr. Feng Chang headshot
Dr. Feng Chang
Waterloo School of Pharmacy assistant professor

Pharmacy co-op student Daniel Stuckless and Waterloo School of Pharmacy assistant professor, Dr. Feng Chang teamed up with The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health to combat vaccine hesitancy. The group, located in Goderich, Ontario, is looking to increase vaccine confidence in Huron, Perth, Grey and Bruce County in Southwestern Ontario.

A story published on several media outlets, including Yahoo News, highlighted the work Chang and Stuckless have been doing. The story is written by Cory Bilyea, of the Wingham Advance Times, as part of the Local Journalism Initiative.

Stuckless’ contributions to the project are part of his second co-op term in Fall 2021.
Stuckless develops content and works on outreach in his co-op role.
“I am motivated because the project deals with my own region,” Stuckless tells Waterloo Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE).

I was raised in Bruce County and the rural focus of the project hits close to home. It is nice to be able to give back in some way and shine a light on the rural communities I grew up in, which is a big part of why I took the job in Dr. Chang’s team. She does primarily rural research, and I figured that I would be a good fit for the position and have some good insight on the matter due to my background.

- Daniel Stuckless, Pharmacy co-op student

The goal of the project is to help vaccinated volunteers become “Community Vaccine Champions.” Volunteers try and reach out to vaccine-hesitant people to provide as much information as possible.
Volunteers provide peer support and education to address myths and misconceptions about vaccines. Once a month, two of the volunteers host a call with people in the community who have yet to receive a vaccine.
“The hope is that if these individuals hear from someone within their own community, in a space free of judgement and not hostile to their beliefs, that this dialogue may increase their likelihood of getting vaccinated,” says Stuckless, in the article.
Stuckless studied Honours Science for two years before beginning the Pharmacy program. His first co-op term was at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Services Centre where he worked in the emergency room.

Daniel Stuckless headshot
Daniel Stuckless
Waterloo Pharamacy co-op student 


Stuckless says his previous work term and academic studies at Waterloo helped prepare him for the vaccination project. “My time in Thunder Bay helped my communication skills a great deal. In the ER you spend most of your time talking with patients and families and at times relaying information in patient-friendly language,” he says. “This helped me in designing some of the content for this project to allow for it to be able to reach as many people as possible, not just those with scientific training.