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The Catalyst

Mandatory flu vaccines offered to hospital staff

By Susan Johnson, Ph.D.
Office of Health Promtion

Flu season is just around the corner and MUSC Employee Health is preparing to fight this illness among employees.
Five to 20 percent of Americans contract influenza yearly, and on average around 200,000 of them are hospitalized with the illness or complications related to the disease. With an estimated 36,000 deaths annually from influenza, and its complications, it is the nation’s eighth leading cause of death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend that all health care workers get an annual flu vaccine. By getting vaccinated themselves, health care workers can protect their health, their family’s health and the health of their patients.

Flu vaccine is available for all MUSC employees and students. This year the compulsory influenza policy has been updated to eliminate personal choice as a reason for declination and eliminate mask wearing for non-recipients. Religious reasons and medical reasons (history of paralyzing illness or allergy to eggs for those age 50 and older, a non-egg-based vaccine is available for those 49 and younger) are the only valid reasons for declination. Those who refuse the vaccine for other reasons are at risk of termination of employment or termination of volunteer or academic relationships.

This policy applies to the following: MUSC medical center employees, trainees, students and visiting students, volunteers, contract staff, medical staff, temporary workers, medical residents, and volunteers. This applies whether paid or unpaid staff.

For fast and convenient service, employees are encouraged to receive the flu vaccine at one of the campuswide satellites hosted by Employee Health Services and Infection Control. Bring your MUSC ID badge and your MUSC ID number (located in My Records). Students may obtain the vaccine from Student Health Services, however agency and other non-MUSC paid employees are not eligible. For the fastest service, bring a completed Flu Vaccine Consent Form (available at Forms will also be available at the administration site.

Flu shots during Wellness Wednesdays:
Oct. 16: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., first floor, Ashley River Tower; Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 20 and Dec. 4:  11 a.m. – 1 p.m., university hospital.
Additional locations for employees: 4 – 7 a.m., Ashley River Tower and 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Environmental Health Services.

Employee Wellness Events
--MUSC Employee Fitness Series Class: Strength and Conditioning, from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the MUSC Fitness Park (behind Drug Discovery on the grass) weather permitting. Take 30 minutes to tone and strengthen lean muscles along with a cardiovascular workout. This free class will be led by fitness expert Katie Blaylock from the MUSC Human Performance Lab. Free day-pass to MUSC Wellness Center for all participants. Email to register.

--The Hollings Cancer Center mobile van will be performing digital mammograms for MUSC employees on Oct. 16.
For appointment scheduling, call 792-0878. The van will be parked behind the Clyburn Research Plaza.

--Worksite screening: The next worksite screening will be held on Oct. 17, HE628H, Clinical Sciences Building.
This screening, valued at about $350, is available to employees with the State Health Plan for $15 (covered spouses can also participate for $15). Employees and spouses without this insurance can participate for $42. The screening includes: height, weight, blood pressure and a blood draw for a blood chemistry profile, hemogram, and a blood lipid profile. Optional thyroid panel is available for $10. Add this test by alerting the staff at the screening.  To register, go to and click “Worksite Screening Appointment.”

--Farmers markets: Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from local farmers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays in the Harborview Office Tower lobby; from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday at Ashley River Tower; and from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday at the Horseshoe. Look for new vendors at the Horseshoe.

MUSC Urban Farm
--Lunch & Learn: The next Lunch and Learn will be held from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17 under the oak tree. The topic is planting fall and winter greens.

--Work & Learns: 4 to 5 p.m.,Thursday

--Work and Learn with child-friendly activities – First and third Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m., Oc. 19. Bring a plastic bag and take home some fresh produce in return for work efforts or help gather for donations on certain days. No experience or prior knowledge necessary. Open to all MUSC employees and students and the general community. Families welcome on Saturdays.

--Early Bird Maintenance, 7:30 to 8:30 am., Oct. 16.

Contact Johnson at for more information on the Office of Health Promotion at MUSC and Suzan Benenson Whelan at for specific information about Employee Wellness.

Events, speakers, classes, or other ideas are welcome. Find us on Facebook. Like the Employee Wellness Facebook page and keep up with all the wellness events at MUSC. To receive the weekly newsletters, email a request to for Wellness This Week or for Friends of the Farm.

October 9, 2013

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