HONESDALE  – When it came to promoting flu prevention, the staff of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) didn’t simply encourage patients to roll up their sleeves.  They led by example.
   Nearly 100 percent of the organization’s 140 physicians, nurses, medical assistants, front office and administrative staff were vaccinated themselves. Their efforts earned them state recognition from the PA Immunization Education Program, which awarded WMCHC a Certificate of Excellence from the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC).
 The IAC informed WMCHC it was now officially on the group’s Influenza Vaccination Honor Roll.  According to the IAC, “the best way to prevent transmission of influenza to our patients is to mandate vaccination of healthcare personnel.”  A non-profit organization endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the IAC is committed to increasing immunizations rates through education of both healthcare professionals and the public.
  As a clinical affiliate of Wayne Memorial Health System, WMCHC adopted Wayne Memorial Hospital’s immunization policy for the 2013-2014 season requiring all employees to either be vaccinated or wear a mask while within close proximity of patients to prevent the spread of flu.
  Kendra Waters, LPN, vaccine coordinator for WMCHC, attributed the success to effective teamwork including efforts by Judy Williams, PhD, MSN, MS, RN-BC. Williams completed an 80 hour externship with WMCHC focused on immunization projects while earning her Masters degree in nursing with an emphasis in public health.  “Judy did so much not only to vaccinate, but also to provide education to the staff about the importance of vaccination.”  Waters elaborated that equally important was “the compliance of the staff and the plan set in place by WMCHC administration to provide all the vaccinations.”
   For more information on Influenza, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.