Reaching Beyond Our Walls
Palomar Health’s commitment to our community stretches far beyond the walls of our hospitals. Through community health programs such as health screenings, Ask-A-Nurse forums, education, support groups and influenza vaccination clinics, Palomar Health brings education and care to the community.
Spearheaded by our community health education nurse, Palomar Health organizes a highly successful community influenza vaccination program each year. During the 2013 flu season, Palomar Health hosted 104 vaccination clinics at various locations throughout the hospital district including churches, senior centers, mobile housing parks, community centers, street fairs, libraries and at our own hospitals. More than 3,200 people received the “flu shot” at the 2013 clinics.
Palomar Health also offered more than 180 health education classes teaching about a wide variety of topics ranging from heart healthy diets to medication safety, as well as free monthly blood pressure, body composition and blood glucose screenings throughout the community.
One Flu Shot at a Time
Palomar Health’s community health nurse and coordinator of the influenza vaccination program, Luanne Arrangio-Law, is passionate about everyone getting a flu shot. And she’s known to be pretty persuasive – just ask Douglas Dennis.
Dennis, a 59-year-old resident of Warner Springs, had always been hesitant to get a flu shot.
“The thought of putting a virus inside of you to prevent another virus didn’t make any sense to me,” said Dennis.
In November 2012, Dennis happened to visit the Warner Community Center on the same day as a Palomar Health “Flu Clinic” and met Luanne.
“I was hesitant, telling her I hadn’t ever gotten one before and didn’t think I needed one now,” explained Dennis. “But Luanne was insistent. She kept telling me how important it was to get one and she finally convinced me.”
This fall, when Luanne returned to Warner Springs for another clinic she ran into Dennis. “He came up to me like he was upset,” said Luanne. “Before I could say anything, he said, ‘You made me get my flu shot last year. And I thought, ‘Uh oh.’”
“But then he broke into a smile saying, “‘And I was the only person in my neighborhood who didn’t get sick last year.‘”
Within a week of getting his flu shot, Dennis’ neighbors began getting ill. “It started down the street from me and worked its way up. Even my roommate got sick. But I was fine. I felt very fortunate to be the only one not to get the flu.”
When asked if he had gotten his flu shot for this season, Dennis replied, “Yeah, I’m a believer now!”