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Media Contact: Tom Grant
tgrant@adventisthealthcare.com
301-315-3356

Adventist Hospitals Launch Annual Campaign  to Stop Spread of Flu

Roundtable Presentation Kicks Off Campaign to Educate  the Community on Vaccinations and Prevention

Rockville, Md.Adventist HealthCare launched its third annual “Help Stop the Flu” campaign today with a roundtable media event featuring a panel of experts in vaccines, infection prevention and community health. The experts spoke before a class at the Universities at Shady Grove to urge college students to protect themselves this season, plus answer questions and provide additional information regarding the new 2010/2011 vaccine.

The spread of influenza can be dangerous and deadly.  The Centers for Disease Control estimates between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans die each year from the flu.  The 2009-2010 pandemic of H1N1 resulted in more than 2,100 deaths.  

The Help Stop the Flu panel of experts included:

-Dr. Gaurov Dayal, Chief Medical Officer, Adventist HealthCare and pediatrician

-Dr. Terry Jodrie, Emergency Physician, Washington Adventist Hospital

-Cindy Edwards, RN, Manager, Disease Control, Montgomery County Department of Health
-Dr. Philip Krause, Office of Vaccines, Food and Drug Administration

-Dr. Juanita Lynn Smith, Hospitalist, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital

-Marilyn Lynk, Ph.D, Program Manager, Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities

Many health experts say the best defense against the flu is getting a flu vaccination.  This season, those who get vaccinated will receive one vaccine containing strains of seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus for protection against both forms of influenza.  Last season, two vaccinations were required to protect against H1N1 and seasonal flu.

“This season’s flu vaccine will make it that much easier for the community to take precaution and stay healthy,” says Dr. Dayal, who is also a pediatrician. “One vaccine is all it takes to protect yourself and to help protect those around you.”

Adventist HealthCare is the largest provider of flu vaccines in Montgomery County, outside of the county health department. This fall, through the “Help Stop the Flu” campaign, Adventist HealthCare’s Health and Wellness team will provide nearly 4,000 flu shots to the community through vaccination clinics at hospitals, churches, businesses and other community locations.

“The Help Stop the Flu campaign goes hand-in-hand with Adventist HealthCare’s mission to improve the health of our community,” says William G. “Bill” Robertson, President and CEO of Adventist HealthCare. “Our goal is to educate the community on the risks of the flu and provide the proper steps to stop the spread, including flu clinics and the distribution of vaccinations.”

Adventist Healthcare, in collaboration with WTOP Radio and M&T Bank, will offer hundreds of free flu shots to the community through two clinics this fall. The first clinic will take place at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital on Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 7-10 a.m. The second clinic will take place in the Lee Building in downtown Silver Spring on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 11-1:30 p.m. Additional flu shot clinic dates and information about seasonal flu and H1N1 are available on the Help Stop the Flu website at www.helpstoptheflu.com

While the flu vaccination is recommended for everyone, it is strongly encouraged for those at the highest risk for the flu including:

  • People over 50;
  • Children between six months and two years;
  • Women who are pregnant;
  • Day-care providers;
  • Anyone living in a long-term care facility or nursing home;
  • Anyone with chronic heart, lung or kidney conditions, diabetes or a weakened immune system.

In addition to being vaccinated, there are a number of ways to help prevent the flu from spreading, such as:

  • Frequent handwashing, especially after coughing, sneezing, wiping and/or blowing the nose.
  • Coughing into the crease of an elbow or sleeve instead of the hand.
  • Staying home when ill, particularly with flu-like symptoms.  This includes keeping children home from school when they are ill.
  • Remaining hydrated and well-rested.

“We all play an important role in preventing the spread of influenza in our community,” notes Judy Lichty, Regional Director of Health and Wellness for Adventist HealthCare. “Practicing good hygiene is the key to staying healthy, particularly handwashing. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, including wrists, palms, back of hands and beneath fingernails.”

Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery organization based in Rockville, Maryland, is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland.  The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.   

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