MVHC is a FluSafe Facility

September 3, 2013

b00bee0c8730e30ba47ea27a4494a123_f563.jpgMinnesota Valley Health Center was among 177 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for achieving high influenza vaccination rates among the facility’s employees during the 2012-13 flu season. 

 Eighty-six percent of MVHC’s employees received influenza vaccinations during the past season of the Minnesota FluSafe program. The facility received a RED ribbon and certificate of achievement from Minnesota Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger for its efforts. 

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

 “The health of our patients and residents is our first priority,” said Pam Williams, Interim CEO of MVHC. “Protecting them from influenza just makes sense. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possible during flu season.”

 With an 86 percent vaccination rate, MVHC ranks above the national average of 66.7 percent.

 “We’re extremely pleased with the number of facilities that participated in the program this year,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control Division at MDH. “We’re making progress in getting more health care workers vaccinated.” 

 Under the FluSafe program, health care facilities receive guidance and access to tools and promotional materials from MDH and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help them increase their rates. The facilities record and document their vaccinations through MDH’s electronic immunization information system. 

 More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2012-13 facilities earning blue, red and white ribbons, can be found on the MDH web site at www.mdhflu.com.

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