“Flu Fighters” at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Employee receives flu vaccination at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

In September 2013, responding to new regulations from New York State’s Department of Health requiring all health care personnel to be vaccinated against influenza (“flu”) or wear a mask in areas where patients may be present, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) kicked off a vigorous campaign to raise awareness of the new rules and vaccinate employees. As of October 29, slightly less than nine weeks into the campaign, more than 70% of our approximately 13,500 employees had received vaccinations; we expect that figure to climb to more than 90% by December 1. Last season, in comparison, MSKCC’s vaccination rate from early September 2012 through the end of March 2013 was 61.7%.

Flu Fighters at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Between September 3 and October 29, 2013, MSKCC offered weekday vaccination sessions at five of our New York City outpatient sites, as well as at our regional clinical sites throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester County, New York. We created posters, e-signs, all-employee e-mails, and Intranet announcements that encouraged every employee to “Be a Flu Fighter,” and featured the headline, “Get a Shot or Wear a Mask.” At our hospital, mobile vaccination units with “Flu Fighter” banners have roamed the halls since early September, dispensing vaccinations on the spot, 24/7, to MSKCC personnel. And every vaccinated employee has received a bright orange “Flu Fighter” sticker to wear on his or her ID badge—a vivid declaration of the employee’s vaccination status.

This collaborative effort among several MSKCC departments, including Employee Health, Infection Control, Nursing, Public Affairs, and Human Resources, resulted in a true flu immunization victory that we hope to replicate in years to come.

For more information, contact Aliyah Ansari, Administrative Manager, Employee Health & Wellness Services, at 646-888-4010 or ansaria@mskcc.org.

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