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Local health facilities recognized for workforce flu vaccination rates

ST. PAUL -- A growing number of Minnesota hospital and nursing home workers are rolling up their sleeve for a flu shot, according to results announced Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Health for its FluSafe program.

The program, in its third year, recognizes facilities that achieve a workforce flu vaccination rate of 70 percent or better. The goal is to protect hospital patients and nursing home residents from influenza by reducing the number of unvaccinated health care workers.

Among the hospitals and nursing homes that earned a blue ribbon for having 90 percent or more of their staff vaccinated during the 2012-13 flu season were:

Appleton Area Health Services Hospital, Appleton; Johnson Memorial Health Services Hospital, Dawson; Paynesville Area Health Care System Hospital, Paynesville; Redwood Area Hospital, Redwood Falls; Swift County-Benson Hospital, Benson; Johnson Memorial Health Services Care Center, Dawson; Koronis Manor, Paynesville.

Among those earning a red ribbon for a workforce flu vaccination rate of 80 to 89 percent:

Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital, Montevideo; Glacial Ridge Hospital, Glenwood; Granite Falls Municipal Hospital, Granite Falls; Appleton Area Health Services Nursing Home, Appleton; Rice Care Center, Willmar.

Among those achieving a white ribbon for a flu vaccination rate of 70 to 79 percent:

Meeker Memorial Hospital, Litchfield; RC Hospital, Olivia; Belgrade Nursing Home, Belgrade; Bethesda Pleasant View Nursing Home, Willmar; Granite Falls Manor, Granite Falls.

Altogether, 219 facilities participated in the FluSafe program during the past flu season. A total of 177 facilities were able to reach vaccination rates of at least 70 percent.

National rates of influenza vaccination among health care workers are estimated at 66.7 percent. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a goal of vaccinating 90 percent of health care workers in its Healthy People 2020 objectives.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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