Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Walk Your Way to Better Health: Free classes help relieve arthritis pain

(Salt Lake City) – Data from the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) show that roughly 47 percent of Utah adults with arthritis limit their activities because of high levels of pain in their joints. With one in five Utah adults suffering from some type of arthritis, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is encouraging the public to enroll in free wellness classes near them to better manage their arthritis pain and other chronic health conditions that limit their activities.

“Health care providers no longer tell people with arthritis to rest their joints as a way to manage their arthritis pain,” said Nichole Shepard, manager of the UDOH Arthritis Program. “Current research shows that physical activity relieves pain, fatigue, and stiffness from arthritis. Walking for just 30 minutes a day, five times a week, can make a huge difference in how your joints feel.”

Nearly 60 percent of Utahns with arthritis said their health care provider told them to exercise to relieve their pain, yet only 3 percent reported attending a self-management class to learn how to deal with their arthritis.

Veteran James Dracoulis recently completed a six week walking program called Walk With Ease at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System. “This program finally helped me break the motivational barrier I had with exercising and walking. The more I walk, the less pain I feel. It has increased my endurance and helped me to overcome my pain physically as well as mentally,” said Dracoulis. The program is offered as a self-guided or group course and has been shown to reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis while increasing balance, strength, and overall health among arthritis sufferers. “Walk With Ease really means to walk with ease!”

Walk With Ease is just one of many evidence-based classes offered across the state to help relieve arthritis pain and teach participants how to manage their chronic health conditions. Classes are taught at local health departments, senior centers, clinics, hospitals, senior housing facilities, public libraries, and other community centers. Participants learn self-management techniques and skills needed in the day-to-day management of their ongoing health conditions. Research shows that the classes are also effective for caregivers.

“Exercise really is the best arthritis pain reliever,” said Shepard. “Start slow with a morning or evening walk around your neighborhood with friends, a spouse, or even your dog. Suggest walking meetings with co-workers or walk around inside your office building when the weather is bad. Reaping the benefits of regular physical activity doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.” 

To find a wellness class near you, visit http://livingwell.utah.gov/ or call the Utah Health Resource Line at 1-888-222-2542. The Arthritis Foundation also has information on arthritis education and physical activity classes, like Walk With Ease, on their website at http://www.arthritis.org/utah or by calling 801-713-5722.

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Media Contact:
Rebecca Castleton

Friday, May 27, 2016

How to have a safe and fun Memorial Day with five easy tips


Memorial Day. The official start of summer!

Whether your planning a BBQ or hittin' the road for the weekend, our five easy tips are sure to make this Memorial Day weekend a safe and fun one.

Buckle up. Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer" as more and more of us are on the road. In fact, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety, the motor vehicle crash death rate nearly DOUBLES on Utah roads this weekend compared to the rest of the year. The best way to protect yourself and those in our car is to wear a seat belt. Every. Single. Rid. And for kids, make sure they're in a car seat or booster seat, according to their height and weight. Learn more about staying safe on the road at http://health.utah.gov/vipp

Be water aware. Drowning can happen in seconds and is often silent. Unfortunately, it's all too common for a young child to wander off during a family gathering and fall into an open body of water, like a pond, stream, or pool. Designate a "child watcher" anytime you're around water. Put away distractions like phones and actively watch kids when water is nearby. And everyone should wear a life jacket when boating. Learn more about water safety at http://health.utah.gov/vipp/kids/water-safety/index.html.

 Beware the food "danger zone." Don't put cooked food on the same plates or surfaces that held raw meat or chicken. Cook burgers, steaks, chicken, fish, pork, and other meats to the proper temperatures. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Never leave food between 40-140 degrees for more than two hours; one hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. Learn more about the food "danger zone" at http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/2016/05/memorial-day-danger-zone.html

 Remember your DEET. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika virus. And different mosquitoes bite at different times of the day. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are found in Utah. They are most active from dusk to dawn. The best way to avoid mosquito bites is to use insect repellent that contains DEET when you go outdoors. You can also wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks to avoid bites. Mosquito proof your home by removing standing water. Learn more about preventing West Nile Virus at http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/WNV/.

 Wear sunscreen. No one wants a fun weekend ruined by a painful sunburn! Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with at least SPF15 before you go outside, even on cloudy or cool days. Re-apply at least every two hours or immediately after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Seek shade during peak sun hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. And cover up with broad-rimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses. Learn more about sun safety at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm.

(Original infographic below)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Utahns with Asthma Have Higher Rates of Depression

(Salt Lake City, UT) – A new report released by the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) shows Utahns who reported missing school or work due to asthma had higher rates of depression compared to the general population. In 2014, 36% of Utahns with asthma reported that a health care provider had diagnosed them with a depressive order compared to 19.3% without asthma. And with more than 235,000 Utahns who currently have asthma, the UDOH Asthma Program is recommending health care providers regularly screen asthma patients for depression.

For adults with asthma, missing at least one day of work or usual activities was associated with an increased risk of depression, regardless of factors such as sex, age, income, time since last asthma symptom, or difficulty sleeping due to asthma. Adolescents who had an asthma attack in the past year were 40% more likely to report being depressed or sad most days when compared to those who did not have an asthma attack. Among adolescents who missed 1-3 days of school in the past year due to asthma, this percentage increased to 49%. Missing school may explain why having an asthma attack is associated with a higher risk of depression.

“Our study shows that the ramifications of poorly controlled asthma impact individuals beyond just the physical health effects of an asthma attack. Having to miss important events in one’s life, like school or work, because of asthma symptoms can directly impact one’s mental health too,” said Holly Uphold, UDOH epidemiologist and lead author of the study.

Additional findings of the study included:
  • Adolescents who had an asthma attack in the past year had a higher rate of being depressed or sad most days during the past year (44.2%) when compared to those who had not had an attack in the past year (35.4%).
  • Adolescents who missed 1-3 days of school in the past year due to asthma (51.6%) had a higher rate of being depressed or sad most days in the past year than those who missed zero days of school (40.0%).
  • Adults with asthma who had symptoms in the past 1-7 days (41.2%) or who had symptoms in the past 8 or more days (42.8%) had a higher prevalence of depression than the general population who reported ever being told by a health care professional he/she was depressed (21.8%).
  • Those who could not afford their asthma medication (56.1%) had a higher rate of being depressed than those who could afford their asthma medication (34.8%).
  • Adults who limited their usual activities a moderate amount or a lot due to asthma in the past year (52.5%) had a higher rate of being depressed than those who reported no limitations or only a few (33.4%).
  • Adults who missed at least one day of work or usual activities due to asthma within the past 12 months (50.0%) had a higher rate of being depressed than those who missed no days (33.5%).
Data from the 2013 Prevention Needs Assessment was used to examine the relationship between asthma and depression among Utah adolescents in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12. Data on asthma and depression among adults was analyzed using the 2008-2012 Utah Asthma Callback Survey.

“Health care professionals should take into consideration how asthma symptoms may impact their patient’s quality of life and mental health,” said Nichole Shepard, UDOH Asthma Program Manager. “We recommend health care providers regularly screen their patients for depression using PHQ-9 or another validated depression tool.”

The UDOH also recommends that health care providers ensure patients with asthma have a treatment plan in place for both asthma and depression. Asthma patients should also be monitored regularly for both conditions in order to determine the most effective treatments.

To learn more about the connection between asthma and mental health, download a copy of the Asthma Mental Health Report at www.health.utah.gov/asthma.  

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Media Contacts:
Brittany Guerra
(o) 801-538-6894 (m) 678-773-3983
Holly Uphold
(o) 801-538-9272

Monday, May 16, 2016

Rule the Rocks 9 to Tour Southern and Eastern Utah: A youth skateboard and BMX competition in theme to educate local youth on the dangers of tobacco

(Salt Lake City) – The Utah Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program’s (TPCP) way to quit campaign invites youth ages 18 and under to compete in four skateboarding/BMX competitions as part of the annual Rule the Rocks competition. In its ninth year, the competition is exclusive to rural Utah and will take place in Vernal on May 18, Price on May 19, Moab on May 20, and Cedar City on May 21.

Youth are invited to enter one of three categories at each event: beginner, intermediate, or advanced for either skateboarding or BMX. All entrants will receive an event t-shirt, and top participants from each category will win cash and gear.

“The tobacco industry is constantly looking for new customers. Youth, especially those in rural communities and with alternative interests, are on Big Tobacco’s radar,” said Brittany Karzen, marketing manager for TPCP. “That’s why we host anti-tobacco events like Rule the Rocks, to create a one-on-one dialogue with youth and remind them that the best way to quit tobacco, is to never start.”

The Rule the Rocks 9 event schedule will be as follows:

Vernal, Utah

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Ashley Valley Park, Skate Park
250 North between 1000 West and 1150 West - behind the baseball fields
Registration: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Competition: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Price, Utah

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Terrace Hills Skate Park
1050 East 700 North
Registration: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Competition: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Moab, Utah

Friday, May 20, 2016
The Skate Park in Swanny City Park
400 North 100 West
Registration: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Competition: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Cedar City, Utah

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Exit 59 Skateboard Park
660 West 945 North (Bicentennial Park)
Registration: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Competition: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Ninety percent of adult smokers begin lighting up before age 19 and one in three will eventually die of their addiction. Quitting is different for everyone. Smokers are encouraged to find their way to quit by visiting waytoquit.org or calling the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1.800.QUIT.NOW.

way to quit Rule the Rocks 9 is sponsored in part by Arkade Magazine and 5050 BMX.

Video, interview, video and photo opportunities available.

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Media Contact:
Brittany Karzen
801-538-6917 (desk)
714-267-3679 (mobile)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Draft Medicaid Expansion Plan Released for Public Comment

(Salt Lake City, UT) – During the 2016 Legislative Session a bill was passed providing the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) with funding to expand Medicaid coverage for adults. The bill directed UDOH to develop the criteria for three new eligibility groups of adults without dependent children, in addition to parents and submit a plan to the federal government to modify the current Utah Medicaid program accordingly. UDOH has released a draft of that plan and is accepting public comment on it through June 8.

The state is required to obtain approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) before implementing the proposed plan. Based on funding and approval from CMS, the program is designed to provide Medicaid coverage for the following adults:
Parents with dependent children earning up to 60 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL)
Adults without dependent children earning up to five percent of the FPL who are:
o Chronically homeless
o Involved in the justice system through probation, parole, or court-ordered treatment needing substance abuse or mental health treatment
o Needing substance abuse treatment or mental health treatment

The proposed plan is available online at http://health.utah.gov/MedicaidExpansion. At this phase of the waiver development, the public is encouraged to review the proposed plan and provide comment. Comments can be submitted online, by email (medicaidadultexpansion@utah.gov), or individuals can attend a public hearing to provide feedback and learn more about the newly expanded adult eligibility group. UDOH will be hosting the following public hearings before submitting the final waiver to CMS:

Thursday, May 19, 2016
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Cannon Health Building (288 North 1460 West, Salt Lake City)
Room 125
Call-in Line: 1-800-319-9003, passcode 202989# 
[This hearing will be part of the regularly scheduled Medical Care Advisory Committee meeting]

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Cannon Health Building (288 North 1460 West, Salt Lake City)
Room 125
Call-in Line: 1-888-329-8895, passcode 759181# 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Bear River Health Department (655 East 1300 North, Logan)
Rooms 153 & 154 
Call-in Line:  1-877-820-7831, passcode 196690#

After collecting and responding to public comments, UDOH will finalize the waiver and submit it to CMS on July 1, 2016. If approved, UDOH expects to begin enrolling new members on January 1, 2017.

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Media Contact:
Kolbi Young
(o) 801-538-6847
(m) 801-231-6350

Friday, May 6, 2016

Just Baby Blues, or a Dangerous Time for Mom and Baby? Free film screening to raise awareness, offer resources and hope

(Salt Lake City, UT) – More than just the “baby blues,” postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety can literally paralyze new mothers and put them and their newborns at risk. All women and the people who love them are invited to attend a free screening of a groundbreaking film that shines a light on the darkness of mental health problems related to pregnancy.

Recent Utah data show 13.8% – or 1 in 7 women – report having postpartum depression. Nationally, postpartum psychosis, a condition related to bipolar disorder affects, 1or 2 mothers for every 1,000 births and can endanger moms and newborns. “Depression and anxiety are the most common complications of childbirth. Women need to know what to look for and what to do at every stage of pregnancy as well as the first year postpartum,” says Amy-Rose White, LCSW. 

White is a perinatal psychotherapist and founder of the Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative (UMMHC). She has dedicated her life and career to serving postpartum women after going through PPD herself. She says the film, Dark Side of the Full Moon, is a must-see for women, their families, and providers as it will help them recognize the symptoms of PPD and anxiety which include: 
  • Racing thoughts
  • Constant worry about baby’s safety
  • Irritability, anger, or rage
  • Guilt about your feelings
  • Tearfulness and sadness
  • Intrusive images 
The film will be shown Friday, May 6 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at the Intermountain Medical Center Doty Education Building #6, 5121 Cottonwood St., Murray, UT 84107. The film is a no-holds-barred unveiling of the depths of maternal depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Several experts and those who’ve dealt with postpartum depression will be available after the screening for comments. They include: 
  • A mother who had postpartum depression
  • William Cosgrove, MD, President, Utah Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Julie Frenette, Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Amy-Rose White, LCSW, Perinatal Psychotherapist
“Women with postpartum depression are trapped in an awful silence,” says William Cosgrove, MD. “Our community must not contribute to this silence. We must raise our voices and reach out to every mom.”
“Mental health problems affect mom’s bonding with baby, marital relationships, and the child’s short- and long-term development if she doesn’t get help,” adds White. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the first year after a woman gives birth.”

Julia Robertson with the Utah Department of Health MotherToBaby project says women need to know that if they have mental health problems during pregnancy or breastfeeding, they can be safely treated with therapy and medication. “Depression and anxiety medications are among the most studied of all drugs, and their use continues to show that babies and moms are healthier when mom manages the illness with the help of her doctor.” For information on medications in pregnancy, visit http://health.utah.gov/prl/.

The UMMHC gives women and families information and resources via its website, www.utahmmhc.com. A care algorithm and treatment resources to guide medical practitioners is also available. The Collaborative offers training throughout Utah to improve prevention, awareness, screening, and detection of maternal mental health disorders. 

The film’s sponsors warn viewers that some of the images can be disturbing for women who have experienced postpartum depression and other mental health disorders in pregnancy.

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Media Contact:
Cyndi Bemis
(o) 801-538-6924 (m) 801-550-4228

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Just “Baby Blues” or a Dangerous Time for Mom? Film, special guests tell real-life stories of women, families, and mental illness

What: Screening of Dark Side of the Full Moon, a documentary chronicling real stories of postpartum depression (PPD) and psychosis.

Why: To show the true, sometimes deadly impact of maternal mental health conditions and the need for support for women and families.
Who: Presented by the Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. Speakers include:
  • Women who have experienced postpartum depression
  • Experts in the treatment of maternal depression, anxiety, and postpartum psychosis
  • Dr. William Cosgrove, President, Utah Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Julie Frenette, Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Conference organizer and therapist Amy-Rose White
When: Friday, May 6, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m. (includes post-screening discussion)

Where: Intermountain Medical Center, Doty Education Building #6
5121 S. Cottonwood St., Murray, UT 84107

Media note: The screening begins at 6:00 p.m. Interviewees will be available beginning at 5:30 and again after the screening at 7:30. See the movie trailer at http://www.darksideofthefullmoon.com/home-1-1/.

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Media contact:
Cyndi Bemis
MotherToBaby Pregnancy Risk Line
(o) 801-538-6924
(m) 801-550-4228 

Just “Baby Blues” or a Dangerous Time for Mom?

What: Screening of Dark Side of the Full Moon, a documentary chronicling real stories of postpartum depression (PPD) and psychosis.

Why:  To show the true, sometimes deadly impact of maternal mental health conditions and the need for support for women and families. 
Who: Presented by the Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. Speakers include:
    • Women who have experienced postpartum depression
    • Experts in the treatment of maternal depression, anxiety, and postpartum psychosis
    • Dr. William Cosgrove, President, Utah Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics
    • Julie Frenette, Certified Nurse Midwife
    • Conference organizer and therapist Amy-Rose White 
When:  Friday, May 6, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m. (includes post-screening discussion)

Where: Intermountain Medical Center, Doty Education Building #6 
                5121 S. Cottonwood St., Murray, UT 84107


Media note: The screening begins at 6:00 p.m. Interviewees will be available beginning at 5:30 and again after the screening at 7:30. See the movie trailer at http://www.darksideofthefullmoon.com/home-1-1/. 

Media Contact:
Cyndi Bemis
MotherToBaby/Pregnancy Risk Line
(o) 801-538-6924
(m) 801-550-4228

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Schools Encourage Students to Bike to School Safely

(Salt Lake City) – As the weather warms up, many school-age children will begin walking or riding a bicycle to school and the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Safe Kids Utah, and local elementary schools want to remind parents and kids of the importance of getting to school safe. 

Approximately 600 students, parents, teachers, and community leaders from Silver Mesa Elementary School in Sandy, Utah will walk or ride a bike to school as part of National Bike to School Day on May 4, 2016.

“We are excited to partner with our local schools to create safer routes for bicycling and walking to and from school,” said Cambree Applegate, Safe Kids Utah Director at the UDOH. “Riding a bike is a great way for kids and their families to increase their physical activity and reduce traffic congestion and emissions from vehicles. And learning how to stay safe while doing so is key.” 

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, there is an average of 764 bicyclists in crashes every year in Utah, an increase of 6.3% over the last 10 years. Nearly 35% of these crashes are school-age children aged 5-19. The summer months, June through September, have the highest bicycle-motor vehicle crashes.

“The most important thing parents and kids can do to stay safe while riding a bicycle is to wear a helmet. In Utah, only 30% of bicyclists in crashes were wearing a helmet and research shows that helmets are the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and deaths in a bicycle crash,” said Applegate.
Tips for staying safe while riding a bicycle include:

  • Wear a helmet. Remember, “Use your head, wear a helmet” when riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or long board, and when roller skating or in-line skating.
  • Find the right helmet fit and make sure your child knows how to put it on correctly. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position and should not rock forward, backward, or side-to-side. The straps must always be buckled and in the form of a “V” under the ears when buckled. A quick helmet fit test can be found at http://www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_type/video.
  • Obey the rules of the road. Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers; use the right side of the road going with traffic not against traffic; how to use hand signals and respect traffic signals, including stopping at all stop signs and stoplights; and to stop and look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street.
  • Maintain equipment and make sure your bike is the right fit.
  • Be bright and be seen. When riding at dawn or dusk, it’s important to be seen. Wearing bright colors and making sure your bike has reflectors or lights make it easier for drivers to see you.
National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for communities to join together to bicycle to school on the same day. The event builds on the success of the worldwide Walk to School Day event held in October each year.
For more information on how to get involved with National Walk and Bike to School Day, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org. Information on creating a safe route to school can be found at www.saferoutesinfo.org. Bicycle and pedestrian safety tips can be found at http://health.utah.gov/vipp.
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Media Contacts:
Cambree Applegate
Safe Kids Utah
(o) 801-538-6852 (m) 435-862-8773

Katie McMinn
(o) 801-538-6156 (m) 801-856-6697

Monday, May 2, 2016

Medically Complex Children’s Waiver Opens Enrollment: Medicaid Program Now Accepting Applications for 75 New Participants

What: The Utah Department of Health’s Medically Complex Children’s Waiver will open enrollment today and accept applications until Monday, June 6. This program is intended to serve children with disabilities and complex medical conditions, providing them access to respite services, as well as traditional Medicaid services.  

Why: During the 2016 General Legislative Session, the waiver was appropriated an additional $1 million to be spent over the next two years. The new funding will provide services to an additional 75 new applicants. Children currently participating in the program will not need to re-apply. 

In order to qualify for this program, a child must:

  • Be age 0-18
  • Have three or more specialty physicians
  • Have three or more organ systems involvement
  • Demonstrate a level of medical complexity based on a combination of need for device-based supports, high utilization of medical therapies, and treatments and frequent need for medical intervention
  • Have a disability determined by the State Medical Review Board 
When: The program will accept applications from May 2 through June 6. Applicants will not be selected on a first-come-first-served basis. Once the application period ends, if more applications are received than spots available, UDOH clinical staff will review the applications and base entrance into the program on the highest medical complexity and critical needs of the family, as identified through the application process.
Where: Apply online at www.health.utah.gov/ltc/mccw or print an application and submit by fax (801-323-1593) or by mail (UDOH, Medically Complex Children’s Waiver, DMHF, PO Box 143112, Salt Lake City, UT 84114). To be considered for the program, applications must be received or post-marked on or before Monday, June 6.

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Media Contact:
Kolbi Young
Public Information Specialist
801-538-6847 / 801-231-6350

Influenza Vaccination Coverage Remains High Among Utah Healthcare Workers

(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) released the annual Healthcare Worker (HCW) Influenza Vaccination Coverage Report for HCWs in licensed* Utah hospitals. The report shows healthcare worker coverage rates have increased, from 75.5 percent in 2008 to 95.7 percent in 2016. 

The report lists all reporting licensed Utah hospitals, along with their influenza vaccination rates for hospital HCWs, for the 2015-2016 influenza season. It is available on the UDOH Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) website at http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/HAI/HCW_flu/2015-2016_HCW_Influenza_Rpt.pdf.

“Influenza is a serious infection, and unvaccinated healthcare workers who become infected can put patients at risk for serious complications,” said Karen Singson, HAI Program Manager, UDOH.

The UDOH and the Utah Healthcare Infection Prevention Governance Committee (UHIP GC) recognize that influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel is a critical patient safety practice. Both agree that mandatory influenza vaccination for HCWs should be implemented in all healthcare facilities unless a healthcare facility has achieved a vaccination rate of 95 percent or greater by some other means.

In November 2007, the UDOH adopted a Healthcare Associated Infections reporting rule (Rule‐386‐705, Epidemiology, Healthcare Associated Infection). This rule requires that hospitals report healthcare worker influenza vaccination rates.

This report was developed by the UDOH in partnership with the UHIP GC. It will allow Utahns to compare influenza vaccination rates for healthcare workers among licensed hospitals in Utah.

In April 2011, the UHIP GC recommended that all healthcare delivery facilities in Utah implement a policy of compulsory annual influenza vaccination for all healthcare personnel. While Utah hospitals are not required to have mandatory influenza vaccination programs for healthcare workers, 85 percent of Utah healthcare facilities that reported have compulsory programs in place; and of those, 91 percent have HCW influenza vaccination rates of 90 percent or greater. “It is clear that facilities that implement compulsory influenza vaccination policies for employees have higher HCW influenza vaccination rates than those who do not,” said Singson. Healthcare organizations that do not have an effective HCW influenza vaccination policy are strongly encouraged to develop one.

Visit http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/HAI/UHIP/ for more information about UHIP GC members.

*Licensed hospitals include acute care, long-term acute care, critical access, rehabilitation, psychiatric, government and children’s hospitals.

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Media Contact:
Charla Haley
(o) 801-273-4178
(c) 801-230-5927