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News Release

Long-term care facilities recognized for flu protection

Oct 04, 2012
ORILLIA – More health care workers in Simcoe and Muskoka are opting to protect their patients by being immunized against the flu. That’s the message coming out of the award ceremonies presented to conclude the second annual Simcoe Muskoka Influenza Immunization Challenge, held Wednesday, October 3 at the Best Western Mariposa Inn in Orillia. More than 60 people attended the event.

ORILLIA – More health care workers in Simcoe and Muskoka are opting to protect their patients by being immunized against the flu.

That’s the message coming out of the award ceremonies presented to conclude the second annual Simcoe Muskoka Influenza Immunization Challenge, held Wednesday, October 3 at the Best Western Mariposa Inn in Orillia. More than 60 people attended the event.

The challenge aims to increase the number of health care workers receiving their annual flu shots.

This year, 29 long-term care facilities and all seven Simcoe Muskoka hospitals participated in the challenge. The effort has resulted in a general increase in immunization rates in Simcoe and Muskoka, with rates running close to 10 per cent above the provincial average for health care workers.

Recognition was given to 24 long-term care facilities for achieving bronze, silver or gold-level standards for staff immunization against influenza. The standards are set for rates of staff immunization ranging from 70 to over 90 per cent.

As well, two area hospitals received honourable mentions for increasing their staff immunization rates by 10 per cent over last year.

“Current research shows influenza transmission among and between health care workers and patients is common,” said Mandy Deeves, the coordination for the Regional Infection Control Network of North Simcoe Muskoka.  “This event provides an opportunity to highlight and recognize the commitment our health care facilities have to their staff and community by supporting immunization.”

Guest speaker Lois Crowe, manager of the Canadian Healthcare Influenza Immunization Network, said other regions in Canada and the U.S. have been innovating to bring immunization rates up.

“We need to shake it up here in Ontario; we need to do more,” Crowe said. “There is enough evidence gathered now; we don’t need more evidence that immunizing healthcare workers against influenza protects patients.”

Catherine Gardner, manager of infection prevention and control at Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital, spoke of the policy changes made in occupational health and safety, and infection control and outbreak management that helped bring important increases in the immunization rates in their facility.

“Wherever we move with the evolution of our policy in the future, the direction will be based on patient and staff safety,” Gardner said.

Recent research in Britain has indicated that deaths from influenza can be reduced by up to 44 per cent when employees in long-term care facilities are immunized.

 “The participating facilities all deserve credit for this show of dedication to the populations they care for, populations that are particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza,” said Dr. Colin Lee, Associate Medical Officer of Health with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “These institutions have shown a very positive commitment to reducing the health burden caused by influenza.”

 

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List of award recipients for 2011-2012

Gold awards

Bay Haven Nursing Home, Collingwood

Bob Rumball Home for the Deaf, Barrie

Good Samaritan Nursing Home, Alliston

Hillcrest Village, Midland

IOOF Senior Citizen Homes Inc., Barrie

Leacock Care Centre, Orillia

 Leisureworld Caregiving Centre - Creedan Valley, Creemore

Mill Creek Care Centre, Barrie

Oak Terrace Long Term Care Residence, Orillia

Victoria Village Manor, Barrie

 

Silver awards

Collingwood Nursing Home

Roberta Place, Barrie

Coleman Care Nursing Home, Barrie

Fairvern Nursing Home, Huntsville

Leisureworld Orillia

Sara Vista Nursing Home, Elmvale

Sunset Manor, Collingwood

Villa Care Centre, Midland

Woods Park Care Centre, Barrie

 

Bronze awards

Grove Park Home, Barrie

Leisureworld Barrie

Leisureworld Muskoka, Gravenhurst

Simcoe Manor, Beeton

Stayner Nursing Home

 

Honourable Mention

Collingwood General Marine Hospital

Georgian Bay General Hospital, Midland

 

Special Recognition Award for Highest Vaccination Rates

Orillia Soldier’s Memorial Hospital (among acute care facilities)

Hillcrest Village, Midland (among long-term care facilities)


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