Here’s a message from Randy Wertz, CEO of Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare:
It is the time of year that we all should be thinking about the importance of receiving the recommended annual flu shot. I have a confession to make – I have never received a flu shot. The honest truth is I don’t like shots. I’ve heard all the stories about individuals who got a flu shot and were sick. I feel like I never get sick, why do I need to get a shot? As CEO I have the same fears and reservations as most of you. However, the evidence to support getting a flu shot is overwhelming.
Vaccination remains the single most effective preventive measure available against influenza. According to a CDC report from mid-August citing data from the 2010-11 flu season, only 63.5% of healthcare workers overall got a flu shot. With influenza perennially among the 10 leading causes of death, for healthcare providers to put up those numbers is almost shameful, especially for caregivers working with frail seniors, the most vulnerable. I have been just as guilty as most of our staff. This year I am going to nervously put my fears aside and get a flu shot. It is the right thing to do – for myself and our patients.
Here is the best part. In order to eliminate any potential question about whether or not I actually received a shot, I have scheduled the flu shot to be administered on Tuesday, October 4 at 9:00 AM in Classrooms A & B. Everyone is welcome to witness the big event (I hope I don’t pass out!).
The role that health care workers play in helping to prevent influenza-related illness and death, especially in high-risk patients, is invaluable. We all should get a flu shot every year. This year, I want to encourage everyone to bravely join me.