‘It was just a good day’: East Knoxville COVID-19 vaccine clinic sparks full-circle reunion

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- A retired nurse and a mentor she first met decades ago, just starting out in her career, were reunited at a Knoxville COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

It was Wednesday at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church on Dandridge Avenue in Knoxville. The vaccination clinic in East Knoxville made possible by the Faith Leaders Church Initiative and sisters of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, a nonprofit, professional service organization for registered professional nurses and student nurses.

One of those nurses was Gloria Lane.

Lane, now retired, has been part of the Knoxville community since the start of her career.

“When I went to school things were not integrated. (I) couldn’t go to hospital school for nursing. That’s what we had,” Lane said.

She left East Tennessee to go to nursing school in Atlanta, when she returned, she worked under Martha Bowden, who at the time, ran the floor Lane worked on.

“She was an example that I definitely wanted to follow. … She was always neat, knowledgeable; she was always kind and ran a good floor,” Lane said.

Lane said Bowden was her first boss and supervisor, that was decades ago. This week, she didn’t expect a reunion with her former supervisor who Lane says, is “96 going on 97.”

“It was just a good day,” Lane said. 

Bowden was at the clinic for a COVID-19 vaccine and when Lane realized she was there, they took a photo to commemorate the spontaneous reunion.

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