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Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to Receive National Award for Employee Vaccination Program

MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn., March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is receiving national recognition for its innovative employee influenza prevention program. On March 30, Children's will receive the Immunization Excellence Award at the National Influenza Vaccine Summit, co-sponsored by the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children's is the only hospital in the United States to receive a national Immunization Excellence Award in the Healthcare Personnel Campaign category this year. The National Influenza Vaccine Summit represents more than 100 public and private organizations with an interest in addressing and resolving influenza and influenza vaccine issues.

"These awards recognize champions within the immunization community who are making a difference within their communities," said Mitch Rothholz, National Influenza Vaccine Summit Executive Committee Member and Awards Committee Chair. "Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota's program integrated many elements and stakeholders to achieve a growth in the number of healthcare worker vaccinations and will serve as a best practice model for others."

Children's efforts to promote employee immunization are part of an overall effort to be a leader in creating a healthy hospital environment for children and families. The vaccination program not only keeps employees healthy, it also helps prevent the spread of influenza within the hospital.

"Healthcare professionals can transmit influenza to vulnerable children up to two days before showing any signs that they are ill," said Patricia Stinchfield, CPN, director of pediatric infectious disease at Children's. "Influenza can be fatal to some patients, such as infants who are too young to be immunized, or patients with suppressed immune systems. That's why Children's works so hard to limit exposure of influenza to children at the hospital."

"Our directors, managers and medical directors have taken the lead by encouraging their staff to protect themselves and our patients through influenza vaccination," said Phillip M. Kibort, MD, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Children's. "The reason we do this every year is because we know it saves lives, in our case children's lives."

In 2008 the program helped increase the hospital's employee immunization rate to 74 percent, a 10 percent increase from the previous year. Children's promotes the immunization program through newsletters, personal letters, presentations to workers, computerized tracking programs, and public postings of departmental vaccination rates.

As this year's award recipient, Children's is invited to share the details and results of their program with other health care organizations at the National Influenza Vaccine Summit meeting May 12 - 13 in Dallas.

About Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Serving as Minnesota's children's hospital since 1924, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is the seventh-largest pediatric health care organization in the United States, with 332 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children's of Minnesota provides care through more than 14,000 inpatient visits and more than 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient visits every year. Children's is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children, and in 2008 was ranked among the best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.

About the National Influenza Vaccine Summit

The National Influenza Vaccine Summit, started in the year 2000, is co-sponsored by the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Summit is an action-oriented entity with over 400 members who represent over 100 public and private organizations with an interest in addressing and resolving influenza and influenza vaccine issues. Summit participants include healthcare professionals, public health professionals, vaccine manufacturers and distributors, consumers, and others interested in preventing vaccine-preventable diseases. The Summit convenes each year to coordinate and collaborate in influenza prevention activities.

SOURCE Children?s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
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