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Message from Amy Mansue
President and CEO, Inspira Health
At Inspira, the safety of our patients, staff and the community has, and will always be, our number one priority. So as we enter the fall months – and flu season – it’s more important than ever that we take preventative measures to ensure this commitment.
This year’s flu season is particularly unique, as it is coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, getting the flu shot this year is incredibly important to protect yourself, your family and the greater community from contracting the influenza virus. The flu hospitalizes hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, so in addition to keeping yourself healthy, getting the vaccine also helps ease the burden on our health care system and saves crucial medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, right now – September and October – is the best time to get vaccinated.
It cannot be emphasized enough that everyone six months of age and older should receive the flu shot, with very limited exceptions. This is especially true for:
- Essential workers, such as health care, retail, and public service personnel, who come into close contact with the public often.
- People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as adults age 65 and older, nursing home or long-term care facility residents, and anyone with an underlying medical condition.
- People at increased risk for serious flu complications, such as infants and young children, children with neurologic conditions, pregnant women, adults aged 65 years and older, and other persons with certain underlying medical conditions.
At Inspira, we’re also taking several preventative measures this flu season to keep you safe.
Second, all 11 Inspira Urgent Care centers are offering a limited supply of free flu shots. We strongly encourage our community members to take advantage of this program.
Lastly, we will continue to keep in place the stringent safety measures that have prevented the spread of COVID-19 in our hospitals and kept patients safe since March. This includes social distancing; masks worn by everyone inside of our facilities; temperature and sign/symptom checks for everyone entering the building; and a deep-cleaning of all patient-care areas multiple times a day.
Our commitment to patient care and safety is especially evident in the story of Deptford resident Yvette Thomas, a COVID-19 patient whose hospital stay was limited to just 10 days thanks to Inspira’s Health+ program, which provides around-the-clock monitoring and personalized health actions to help people recover from the virus and other illnesses safely at home.
Inspira provided Thomas with a wireless pulse oximeter that she used to measure her blood oxygen level. Her results were automatically transmitted to the Inspira Health+ monitoring center where a team of nurses reviewed them in real time. Without Health+, Thomas likely would have spent an additional 10 days or so in the hospital. She continued to use oxygen at home for more than two months.
"I was grateful that I was able to recover at home; that there were tools out there that allowed me to do that," said Thomas. "If there were figures [test results] that didn't add up, they [the nurses] were on the phone right away. They were up on everything."
While it can be easy to let your guard down, we urge you to continue to social distance, wash your hands regularly, and wear a mask around others. These small measures go a long way in ensuring the health and safety of yourself, your family and your neighbors.
It is a privilege and an honor to serve you and the South Jersey community.
Please stay safe and be well.