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Grand Itasca Recognized for Efforts to Protect Patients from Influenza

11/2/2015

Grand Rapids, MN - Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital was among 155 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for achieving high employee influenza vaccination rates during the 2014-2015 flu season.

 

Grand Rapids, MN - Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital was among 155 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for achieving high employee influenza vaccination rates during the 2014-2015 flu season.

More than 550 Grand Itasca employees, representing 81% percent of the staff, received influenza vaccines during the past season of the Minnesota FluSafe program. The facility received a red ribbon certificate of achievement from the Minnesota Commissioner of Health, Edward Ehlinger, for its efforts.

The FluSafe program aims for 100 percent of all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota, except those with medical exemptions, to be vaccinated against the flu each season. According to state health officials, unvaccinated health care workers can potentially pass highly contagious influenza to their patients; many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.

“Our patients health is our top priority,” said Joanie Kellin, Infection Control and Employee Health nurse at Grand Itasca. “Participating in the FluSafe program helps us increase employee flu vaccination rates and prevent flu from spreading to our patients. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possibly during flu season.”

Of the facilities that participated in FluSafe this year, 71 reached vaccination levels of 90 percent or greater, 53 reached levels greater than 80 percent, and 31 facilities reached vaccination rates of between 70 and 80 percent. There are approximately 145 hospitals and about 375 nursing homes in the state.

Grand Itasca’s efforts to vaccinate their employees against flu highlights their dedication to keeping their staff and patients healthy,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control Division at MDH. “Facilities participating in FluSafe are key partners in preventing the spread of influenza by increasing health care worker vaccination.”

Flu shots are now available at Grand Itasca. Walk-ins are accepted but appointments are preferred. Call 218-326-7344 to schedule your flu shot appointment today.

Grand Itasca Infection Control and Employee Health Nurse, Joanie Kellin, RN, with the MDH Minnesota Flu Safe award.

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