Monthly Board Report - December 2000
2000 Flu Campaign
Submitted by Jane Futcher, Director of Clinical Services
The influenza campaign started with clinics for the "high risk" populations in October. This high risk population is composed of those over 65 years old, residents and staff in long-term care facilities, emergency and health care workers, adults and children with chronic illnesses (and their caregivers).
Community Health Centres and family physicians were involved in the immunization of this group. Long-term care facilities, nursing and retirement homes immunized their clients and staff, as did the acute care hospitals. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit offered clinics in most municipalities. The Health Unit immunization team immunized 1,635 persons in 21 community clinics.
The immunization process for the general population of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark is being managed in an entirely new way this year. In the past, when there was a need to immunize a certain sector of the population, the Health Unit rallied nursing staff, from all departments and did a "blitz" to immunize the identified population in the shortest time possible. Although there was the offer to help immunize from many nurses in the other departments of the Health Unit, it was decided to reach out to our community partners. With their help, a process was put into place that will be replicated in the years to come (as this influenza immunization initiative will be on-going).
According to the survey we carried out in August, school sites seemed to be the most preferred locations to have community clinics. We approached the school boards and with the cooperation of the area's schools, seventeen were chosen as the main sites for the community clinics.
Clinics were held in Almonte and Pakenham in partnership with the Almonte General Hospital, in Carleton Place in partnership with the Carleton Place District and Memorial Hospital, in Smiths Falls and Perth in partnership with the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, in Kemptville in partnership with the Kemptville District Hospital, in Athens and other Brockville area locations in partnership with the Brockville General Hospital.
Workplace clinics were held by many of the large employers in the area, using their own nurses or nursing staff from private nursing agencies to run immunization clinics. Many physicians, group practices and the community health centres offered immunization to clients other than to those in their practices.
Overall, there has been a cooperative effort by all health care providers to make influenza immunization available to every one. The residents of the Tri-county area seem to have embraced the idea of universal influenza immunization as a way to protect our elderly and vulnerable population from influenza.
The Health Unit's community influenza immunization clinics will continue during the month December. Influenza immunization will continue to be available at the Health Unit in the New Year, during the regular immunization clinics.