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Jan 18, 2013 5:03 PM

Carondelet first Tucson hospital to enact flu guidelines

The following is a release from Carondelet Health Network:

TUCSON - Any patient or member of the public visiting a Carondelet Health
Network hospital or facility can be confident their caregiver has received a flu shot this year.

Carondelet's 4,400 associates and 1,100 physician partners are participating in a universal flu vaccination effort which began this month.

More than 9,800 confirmed cases of influenza were reported to the Arizona Department of Health Servicesduring the 2010-2011 flu season and nearly 4,000 in the 2011-2012 season. Carondelet Health Network is doing its part to reduce those statistics by taking a proactive approach. All clinical and non-clinical associates (employees), active medical personnel, volunteers and hospital-based vendors will be required to get a flu shot.

Carondelet's Health & Wellness Division is providing the vaccinations. Once flu season
arrives, any associate, physician, volunteer or vendor unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons must wear a mask and gloves when they are in a patient room or within six feet of patients.

"Carondelet believes that immunization, at its core, is a patient safety issue," said Donald Denmark, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital and Carondelet Health Network. "We believe that anyone who enters our doors-patients, their families, or our staff-should be safe and confident in the knowledge that they are entering an environment that is as healthy as it can be."

Carondelet Health Network is the first health care system in Southern Arizona to comply with universalvaccination guidelines, which have been endorsed by the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics, just to name a few. Carondelet's prevention efforts place it in the company of health systems such as UCLA and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as partner systems within Ascension Health, Carondelet's parent healthcare Ministry.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness spread mostly through coughing and sneezing. In the most vulnerable, it can lead to hospitalizations and, sometimes, even death. But, it is also preventable.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Carondelet also encourages our community to "Be well" this season by getting a flu vaccine.

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