Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network Hosts Flu Clinics for Local Children
NEWPORT, NH – Through a grant from the State of NH Department of Health and Human Services, the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network managed school-based flu immunization clinics in October and November that vaccinated over 750 local children in 21 schools within four school districts, up from 570 students in the 2014-2015 school year. This reflects an increase from about 47% to over 60% of students vaccinated against the flu.
Nancy Houghton, a consultant working with the County, said that Charlestown schools participated in the first clinic of the year in early October and the immunization season concluded with clinics at the Newport schools in December. The public health network immunized children in Charlestown Primary School, Charlestown Middle School, and North Charlestown Community School; Croydon Village School; Acworth Center School; Alstead Primary School; Sara Porter School; Vilas Middle School; Kearsarge Regional Elementary Schools in New London, Sutton, Bradford, and Warner; Cornish and Unity Elementary Schools; Richards and Towle Schools in Newport; and Claremont Middle School, Maple Avenue, Disnard, and Bluff Elementary Schools in Claremont.
The school-based clinics offer free flu immunizations to students in the hopes of reducing influenza outbreaks. The cost of a sick child is tangible to the family and to the schools: statistics show that a family will save over $450 per child if their family remains healthy over the school year. The Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network credits the school nurses and administration who were cooperative, organized, and helpful in making these clinics happen.
Kirsten Dattilio, Regional Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network since September, has been working with Nancy Houghton to run the clinics. Houghton is a long time Medical Reserve Corps volunteer for the region and has assisted with the clinics for the past four years. Nurses are provided by Lake Sunapee Region VNA and Hospice, where the clinics were organized by Catherine Freudenberg. As they have for the past three years, nurses Jan Sahler and Judy Morrissey traveled with Houghton to each clinic to administer the vaccines through a nasal mist or injection. Students who receive the vaccine remain under supervision for 15 minutes, pick out a sticker, and return to class.
You can follow the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network on Facebook at @GSCPHN. The Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network is a collaborative of the county, municipalities and numerous health and human service agencies, schools, and community groups that work to improve our region’s capacity and capability to manage all health emergencies.
Press Release Contact: Kirsten Dattilio, EP & SBC Coordinator