Staff Immunizations Earn HGH Top Spot at 'Silver Syringe' Awards

Humboldt General Hospital will be honored for going above and beyond in its efforts to immunize staff members against the flu.

April 19, HGH will receive the “Healthy People 2020 Immunization and Infectious Diseases Leading Health Indicator” award for its success at vaccinating 90 percent or more of healthcare personnel against seasonal influenza.

At Humboldt General Hospital, 98 percent of staff members were vaccinated against influenza during the hospital’s annual immunization drive in October 2017.

HGH Infection Control and Employee Health Nurse Ginger Tanner, RN, BSN, worked tirelessly alongside Kat Ourada, RN, and Mary Marvel, RN, BSN, nursing house supervisors and others, to administer the flu shot to the hospital’s nearly 300 staff members.

Staff members who received the flu shot during the hospital’s immunization window wear a small maroon sticker on their name badges signifying their protected status; employees who were not immunized due to health or personal reasons wear face masks while at work.

“It’s nice to be recognized for achieving a certain statistic,” said Tanner, “but for us it’s about providing a blanket of protection for our community and our staff against a disease that can kill.”

The Centers for Disease Control say the death toll from flu can range from 3,300 to 49,000 each year in the United States; at HGH, 142 people tested positive for the disease from October 1 through February 21, although Tanner says the number of influenza-infected citizens is likely much higher since HGH only records stats of those who actually test positive at the facility.

“As a staff, we need to do our part to not spread this disease, and to make sure that when residents come for care at our facility, we offer them a safe zone, free from the flu.”

She added, “That’s why this award is so special, because it represents that level of caring on the part of our staff.”

Tanner and Ourada will attend the 20th Annual Silver Syringe Awards and Fundraiser April 19 at the Nevada Museum of Art. The awards banquet is hosted by Immunize Nevada which says the event is a way to showcase the outstanding work and dedication of individuals and organizations that go above and beyond in immunization efforts in Nevada; the awards are also a way to honor the life-saving work focused on preventive health success.

Humboldt General Hospital is one of about two dozen hospitals and health-related facilities in the state to achieve the coveted 90 percent-plus status in immunizing staff against the flu.

“We have been fierce advocates of flu vaccination,” said Tanner, “probably because we have also been first-hand witnesses of the effects of flu.”

She added, “We’re proud of Humboldt General’s staff for standing together against the flu. Kat and I will accept this award on behalf of all our colleagues; it will be a great reminder of our mutual commitment to care.”