Nursing Students Inoculate Community Against H1N1

News Story: February 1, 2010

Over 7,000 vaccinations administered at four Fairfield County sites

On Thursday, January 14, Sacred Heart University hosted the Fairfield Health Department for a free H1N1 flu-shot clinic. The effort was part of a multi-pronged event in Fairfield County to protect the public from H1N1, with sister clinics held in Stratford, Trumbull and Monroe.

The events were run by 80 volunteers donating a combined 500 hours of time. The SHU clinic, held in the University Commons, was staffed by graduate and undergraduate volunteers from the university’s nursing program, along with faculty including Dr. Pat Kilcullen and Deborah Jackson.

According to Dr. Linda Strong, assistant professor of nursing at SHU, the clinics resulted in over 7,000 people receiving flu vaccinations.

“I am proud of the nursing students and faculty who have donated their time and expertise in service to the community,” says Dr. Anne Barker, professor and chair of the SHU Nursing department. “This is an example of actually living the Sacred Heart mission to be in service to others.”

Also helping to run the clinics were the Stratford Visiting Nurses Association and the Stratford-Trumbull-Monroe Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). According to its website, the MRC is a group of local citizen volunteers from both medical and non-medical backgrounds who are trained to “respond to public health concerns and emergencies in an effort to save lives and reduce the threat of disease or injury.”

The primary mission of the Fairfield Health Department is to protect and improve the physical, mental, and environmental health of the Fairfield community by providing both oversight and direct services.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates that more than 80 million people were infected with H1N1 in 2009, resulting in as many as 362,000 hospitalizations and between 7,880 and 16,460 deaths.