Downey's flu campaign

Dear Editor:We wanted to take an opportunity to publicly congratulate the city of Downey and their partners on a successful flu vaccination campaign this year. For several months, the city of Downey, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health and several other community partners including Kaiser Permanente, has been planning and implementing one of the largest flu immunization campaign in our community's history. The impressive effort has been led by Deputy City Manager Mark Sauter and Emergency Preparedness Public Health Nurse Dorothy Kidd from the L.A. County Whittier Health Center. In total, this citywide collaboration has resulted in almost 8,000 people being vaccinated against the flu - both seasonal and H1N1. This endeavor will result in fewer children out of school, less people out sick from work, less patients in our local emergency departments and hospitals, and fewer of our neighbors succumbing to death from the flu this year. These benefits will not only help every sector of our community, but they will save lives. In addition, the actual process and location of the vaccination campaign this year also benefits our community in better preparing for an emergency or disaster. By choosing to use the Downey Theatre site the city was able to test our predetermined Point of Distribution, or POD, site which would be activated in the event of a natural or man made disaster in order to facilitate mass vaccinations. These learnings will no doubt improve our city's ability to keep our community safe. As a partner working to keep this community healthy and ensuring we are prepared for any type of disaster, we commend the Downey City Council, city staff, the L.A. County Department of Public Health and the numerous community partners that made this flu vaccination campaign such a success. - Binesh Batra, MD, Area Medical Director, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center, and Jane Finley, Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center

********** Published: December 25, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 35