SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Partnership for Quality Care held a press conference at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center today urging all health care workers and the public to get a flu vaccination to keep themselves, their patients, their colleagues and their families safe. The event featured Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy, Kaiser Permanente; Dave Regan, president, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West; and Leah Klinger, MD, assistant physician-in-chief of Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center.
The 2013-2014 flu vaccine is available nationwide and health care leaders at the event stressed the importance of getting immunized before the flu begins to spread widely, highlighting the safety and ease of doing so.
"Health care professionals know better than anyone how dangerous influenza can be," Baxter said. "We've joined together with our union partners to lead by example and urge everyone to get immunized against the flu as soon as possible."
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West President Dave Regan spoke of all the work union members do to fight the spread of the flu.
"Our members are on the front lines of the battle against the flu – we are committed to fighting influenza in everything we do, and we take that commitment very seriously," Regan said. "Getting a shot is an easy way for us all to do our part and protect ourselves, our patients and our communities from the flu."
Dr. Klinger addressed some common misconceptions about immunization, underscoring the safety and ease of getting a shot.
"Getting immunized dramatically decreases your chances of contracting the flu, but so many people choose not to get a flu shot," said Dr. Klinger. "Getting a shot is easy, completely safe and barely hurts at all. It's free for SEIU health care workers and low cost for the public. The time to get a shot is now, before the season hits its peak."
For more about flu prevention, join Kaiser Permanente's TweetChat by following #KPHealthyChat on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 12-1 p.m. PST.
The Partnership for Quality Care is a national labor-management coalition committed to ensuring quality, affordable health care for everyone in America. It includes public, private, religious, teaching, and nonprofit hospitals nationwide and integrated health systems and the nation's largest healthcare union, SEIU, with more than 1 million nurses, doctors and health care workers. Our members care for more than 50 million patients annually. Please visit our website www.pqc-usa.org, follow us on Twitter at @pqcnews.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 9.1 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.
Jon Fromowitz (PQC), 202-255-8202,
Sean Wherley (SEIU-UHW), 323-893-6831
Joe Fragola (Kaiser Permanente), 415-902-3737
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente