Crittenton continues flu combat

In the midst of an epidemic, last week we covered some diagnostic tips when it comes to the flu and how to recognize when you need to head to the emergency room if your symptoms escalate.

But this week, a Crittenton Hospital Medical Center expert shares a couple preventive measures to help you avoid the infamous virus this winter.

Starting with home base

At the beginning of the influenza season in October, Crittenton engaged in anti-flu combat by starting at square one—immunizing their employees.

“Ninety-six percent of [our] employees—and we have more than 1,800—have had the flu vaccine,” Ann Wallace said.

Wallace is the manager for Crittenton’s Occupational Medicine department and the Center for Preventive Medicine and she works to oversee sleep studies.

“We all silently—or out loud—honor the Hippocratic oath to do no harm,” she said.

But they are getting vaccinated to only protect themselves, their cohorts or even their patients and visiting family members, nurses and medical practitioners alike get the flu shot to protect us in the community, too.

“[We’re] out there sitting next to someone at the movies and [we’re] protecting them by having that flu shot,” Wallace said.

She calls this the commitment to the community.

At the beginning of the season, the hospital even took vaccines off-campus to local businesses to immunize employees.

“It’s a very positive thing,” Wallace said, vaccinating nearly 800 community members this year.

While this program has wrapped up, Wallace encourages families to get the flu shot if they haven’t already.

Vaccines still available

“What we’re looking for is protection for those who aren’t immunized,” she said, “And it’s really very important.”

Those looking to grab a flu shot can head to the Occupational Medicine department between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“We have plenty to share with the community,” Wallace said.

Adults 18 years and older are welcome and no appointment is needed.

For children 2 years and older, the Travel Medicine department—located at 441 Livernois Road—offers flu vaccines by appointment.

For more information, please call 248-652-5000.

Flu hygiene

A couple of the best ways to prevent spreading of the virus are to wash your hands often and cover your cough, Wallace said.

Crittenton team members educate Rochester’s youth by visiting local schools and expressing the importance of such tasks.

Balanced diet

One of Wallace’s additional tips to staying healthy this winter is by eating a balanced diet.

Blogging about the flu

Have any questions about the flu? Crittenton blogs about the virus in an effort to educate more of the community.

“Vaccines save lives,” Wallace said. “So I always try to blow those [flu] myths out of the water with fact. We are science-based so I think a blog is a great way to spread the word.”

Be sure to visit www.Crittenton.com for more information.

Interested in more tips?

Don’t miss last week’s flu coverage here.

And, earlier this fall, I caught up with two Rochester-area nutritionists to find ways each of us can prevent the flu by enhancing our immunity. You can find the article here.

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About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at JenBucciarelli@gmail.com.

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