Daughter helps bring her father, a nurse, out of retirement to help in pandemic

When David "Mac" McClure started as a nurse at St. Elizabeth Hospital almost a half-century ago, he never imagined his influence would last this long or how far the next generation in the family might take it into the future.

"I worked in this organization 45 years," McClure said.

He not only worked in the hospital but also on a disaster response team. McClure was commander of the Kentucky Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

The team responded to disasters around the nation like hurricanes.

"Andrew, Hurricane Marilyn," McClure said. "Katrina, of course, in ’05 was a big one."

Throughout his career, he focused on one theme.

"Service to others, I think that’s important. That’s something I try to convey to my children," McClure said.

He retired 18 months ago, but that didn’t last long. When the pandemic hit and vaccines were made available, he was asked to come back and help at the St. Elizabeth vaccine center.

"He has done everything we have asked him to do on a moment’s notice," said Suzi Francis.

Francis is very familiar with the situation. She’s the one who called McClure to ask him back. She’s not only part of the vaccine management team, she’s McClure’s daughter.

"I didn’t appreciate until I worked in a hospital, the tragedy and compassion and empathy he had to show on a daily basis and then come home and be dad," Francis said.

Francis grew up watching her dad help develop innovative techniques in the field and deploy to disaster zones on a regular basis. Her mother was also in health care.

Francis eventually got a doctorate in pharmacy and now has clinical oversight for vaccines at St. Elizabeth.

She led the team that developed and expanded vaccine distribution rapidly and smoothly for the hospital system.

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St. Elizabeth went from giving a few vaccines a day when the first doses arrived to giving about 1,700 in a day.

Now, Francis works side by side with the person who was a big part of why she’s in health care.

"To know we can take this away and take this back home and say ‘Remember how we did that?’ and really show our kids, his grandkids, what health care is and what serving is about," Francis said.

"She is a well-driven young lady and she did a lot on her own, but I’m very, very proud of her, wherever it came from," McClure said.