As a member of Ascension Health, Lourdes has decided to adopt the Ascension Health Universal Vaccination Program beginning with the Fall 2012 flu season. This decision reflects Lourdes' commitment to deliver healthcare that is safe and follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Joint Commission (JC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
What this means is that all health care workers at Lourdes will be expected to participate in the program and receive the flu vaccination. Health care workers are defined as associates, licensed independent practitioners, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants, adult students/trainees and volunteers, contracted staff and vendors.
"At Lourdes we feel we have a responsibility to protect the health of the entire community," said Robert Taylor, III, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Lourdes. "By ensuring that every associate that can be vaccinated safely receives the influenza vaccine, we will reduce the ability of the virus to spread in our area. When someone is protected by receiving the vaccine, they contribute to the protection of the whole community, especially our frail and vulnerable."
Lourdes, which is one of the area's largest employers with 2,396 associates, has joined the Immunization Action Council's "Honor Roll for Patient Safety" showing community members and patients that the organization is participating in this important preventative initiative (http://www.immunize.org/honor-roll/).
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms can include fever, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, cough and headache and fatigue. The illness can be mild or severe and can last from a couple of days up to two weeks. Individuals may be able to pass the flu to another person before they realize they are ill. Receiving the flu vaccine is one of the best ways to reduce transmission of the flu to those around.
For further information about this or any media inquiry, call Lisa Donovan, Media Coordinator, Lourdes Public Relations, at 607-772-1274.