Thursday, October 15, 2009

City Hall Takes Proactive Approach to Combat Flu

Instituting a hands-on approach to combating flu in the work environment, Richmond City Hall conducted an on-site flu clinic designed to take an active approach to seasonal flu prevention. In partnership with the city’s health provider, Southern Health, the city of Richmond delivered a streamlined process between employer, insurance carrier and provider.

With this approach, city of Richmond employees and dependants over age 18 who are covered by Southern Health simply fill out a form, show their insurance card, and a claim that does not require a co-payment is filed for employees. Employees are then provided their flu shot on-site by Southern Health, IVNA (Instructive Visiting Nurse Association).

During the City Hall flu clinic conducted on October 12, 2009, over one third of the 450 participants had never had a flu shot before. When asked why they chose to get the shot this year when they haven’t in past years, the number one response was "because you came to us and it was affordable," closely followed by "peer pressure from co-workers to get the shot.” Clearly creating a culture of wellness at the workplace provides encouragement and resources for employees who might otherwise shy away from services.

“This is an important proactive approach that I’m encouraging other employers to model with their insurance providers,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “It just doesn’t get much easier for employees than providing an on-site flu clinic partnership setting.”

On average, flu related absenteeism can range from two to seven days per employee. Cough and fatigue can last for several weeks, causing a slow return to work. The city scheduled six flu clinics for city employees and is encouraging employees to take advantage of this program and stay healthy. Remaining dates and locations include:

DPU Operations Center
400 Jeff Davis Hwy.
October 19, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Police Training Academy
1202 West Graham Rd.
October 21, Noon to 7 p.m.

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110