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News Release

Health care facilities recognized for flu protection

May 05, 2016
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – Two long-term care facilities in Simcoe Muskoka were recognized yesterday for achieving a 100 per cent staff influenza immunization rate in 2015-2016

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – Two long-term care facilities in Simcoe Muskoka were recognized yesterday for achieving a 100 per cent staff influenza immunization rate in 2015-2016.

The success of the IOOF Senior Citizens Home Inc. in Barrie and the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Alliston was celebrated at the Simcoe Muskoka Influenza Immunization Challenge recognition event held in Orillia. The annual event, a collaboration between the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) and the North Simcoe Muskoka Infection Control Network, aims to increase the number of health care workers who get a flu shot every year.

Health care workers who are immunized against the flu help to reduce their own risk of illness and absenteeism as well as flu-related illnesses and deaths in those they care for.

“We are delighted that our staff have achieved a 100 per cent influenza vaccination rate for three consecutive years,” said Doreen Saunders, CEO of IOOF Seniors Home. “Influenza is a serious illness for our residents and the best way we can protect them, as well as our co-workers and families, is to be immunized.” 

The event saw 27 long-term care facilities and one local hospital recognized for achieving bronze, silver or gold-level standards for staff immunizations against influenza. The IOOF Senior Citizens Home and the Good Samaritan Nursing Home were among 12 long-term care facilities to receive gold awards.

The standards are set for rates of staff immunizations ranging from 70 to more than 90 per cent. Collingwood General & Marine Hospital received a bronze award for achieving a 74.9 per cent immunization rate among its staff.

Now completing its sixth year, the challenge effort has resulted in an upward trend in health care worker influenza immunization rates in Simcoe and Muskoka. Staff immunization rates in Simcoe Muskoka long-term care facilities continue to be higher than provincial rates.  

“Our health care facilities deserve recognition for working to improve staff immunization rates against influenza, because it shows a strong commitment toward the safety of their patients and residents,” said Dr. Colin Lee, Associate Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “It’s an outstanding achievement in the continuing goal to protect everyone from the spread of influenza.”

Twenty-nine long-term care facilities and seven hospitals in Simcoe Muskoka participated in this year’s challenge. The complete list of awards can be found at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.  

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