While the numbers vary, in the United States, millions of people are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu every year. According to the CDC, one of the leading indicators for the severity of the flu season is the number of individuals who receive the flu vaccination each year. In honor of National Influenza Vaccination Week taking place December 4 -10, 2016, Immunize Nevada is proud to recognize the 2016 Nevada Flu Heroes. This year’s awardees have worked tirelessly to protect the health of Nevadans and prevent influenza – keeping people healthy, reducing hospitalizations, and saving lives.
Immunize Nevada received over 30 nominations of individuals, businesses, and organizations who are doing amazing work to increase access and awareness to the flu vaccine. We are proud to recognize six Nevada Flu Heroes who have gone above and beyond this flu season:
Bren McClean has gone out of her way to make sure the Moapa/Logandale community has access to the flu vaccine. Over the last two years she organized a flu clinic to connect people with easy access to get vaccinated. This year she came up with a wonderful idea to partner with the food distribution site and offer drive-through flu shots while people came to get food. The event was very successful with 125 people getting vaccinated! It is through Bren’s continued advocacy and local coordination that individuals and families living in the Moapa/Logandale area are able to be connected to live saving vaccines.
Dignity Health Medical Group – Peccole Plaza
Dignity Health Medical Group – Peccole Plaza has taken their job as caretakers for their patients’ health seriously. Connecting patients with the influenza vaccine can be challenging, whether it’s scheduling appointments, overcoming misconceptions, or fear of needles! By making flu protection a priority for their patients, Dignity Health Medical Group- Peccole Plaza has vaccinated 92% of its patient population against influenza - a very impressive feat. It takes coordination and everyone working together to achieve this high level of results.
As a Health Educator for the University of Nevada, Reno, Enid Jennings has demonstrated significant efforts to encourage vaccination among college students. She has coordinated various flu vaccine clinics throughout this season, making it more accessible for students. Additionally, she has consistently supported Immunize Nevada’s outreach efforts, including the University Flu Challenge. Her commitment to Nevada's health is greatly appreciated.
Monica Aragon, RN was nominated not just for her wonderful work protecting the health of fellow employees and patients, but for the compassionate nature she engages with all those around her. In the words of her nominator “She is that kind of nurse who goes above and beyond her duties and ensuring that she is doing everything accurate for the protection of the employees, patients and herself. She is a very positive human being and always turns a negative situation to a positive outcome.” As Manager of Employee Health Department at Valley Hospital Medical Center, Monica’s commitment to compassion, care, and problem solving are an incredibly important part of making sure employees and patients are protected from the flu.
One of Morningstar-Sparks’ founding principles is to invest generously in the ability of their team members to serve patients well. They are committed to providing a safe, healthy, and productive environment for all team members, residents, visitors, and families. Their team members have embraced these principles and express their belief by their willingness to be vaccinated against the flu for the protection of all. It is through companies like Morningstar-Sparks who foster pro-vaccine principles, put them into action, and inspire their team that we can protect health and prevent disease.
Scientific Games has made employee health a priority by making access to the flu vaccine easy and fun at their facilities across the state and throughout the country. They created buy-in to the importance of the flu vaccine with their Knockout the Flu Week, during which they offered free flu shots for employees at their offices. In the words of a team member “Many people from my office went and got their flu shot, and now I feel the whole place is safe from the flu! It's a great feeling.” Having the partnership of employers who value the health of their team and understand the impact to morale and bottom line when employees succumb to the flu is incredibly important.
Immunize Nevada would like to recognize all of the nominees for the Flu Hero Awards. It was incredibly difficult to select only six heroes from the amazing accomplishments that were submitted. It is only through the partnership and collaboration of people working together across the state that we are able to protect the health of Nevadans.
• Advanced Pediatrics
• Centennial Pediatrics
• Desert Pediatrics Cascade
• Elite Media, Inc.
• Healthcare Partners Tenaya
• Jackie Shelton
• Jeanine Paul
• Jennifer Wheeler, CHA
• Karissa Loper, MPH
• Lynda McCloskey
• Mesa View Medical Center, Mesquite
• Michael Moreno, RTC
• Milestones Pediatrics
• Mountain View Pediatrics
• Mountain View Hospital
• Positively Kids, Bailey
• Pyramid Lake Tribal Health Clinic Nursing Staff
• Shelley Minedew
• Southwest Medical Rancho/Oakey and Montecito
• Sunshine Valley Pediatrics
• Valley Health System - Desert View Hospital
• Walmart Elko
• Wee Care Pediatrics