News release: Minnesota health care facilities recognized for efforts to vaccinate personnel against influenza

News Release
October 12, 2011
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Minnesota health care facilities recognized for efforts to vaccinate personnel against influenza

More than 130 completed program; 27 reached 90 percent level in 2010-11

In the inaugural season for Minnesota’s FluSafe program, 137 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state completed the program, which recognizes health care facilities for attaining high influenza vaccination rates among their personnel.

The 137 facilities were those that enrolled in the program, participated fully and provided final vaccination data to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Of those that participated, 109 facilities reached vaccination rates of at least 70 percent. Of those, 27 reached vaccination levels of 90 percent or greater. There are 145 hospitals and about 400 nursing homes in the state.

A list of those facilities receiving white (70-79 percent), red (80-89 percent) or blue (90-plus percent) ribbons for their participation levels in 2010-11 is posted on the MDH FluSafe Web page.

“We’re extremely pleased with the number of facilities that participated in this first year of the program,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control Division at MDH. “We’re making progress in getting more health care workers vaccinated. Even among those facilities that didn’t reach 70 percent, many showed significant improvement in their coverage rates.”

The goal of the program is to get 100 percent of all health care personnel, except those with medical exemptions, to be vaccinated against influenza each season.

“Unvaccinated health care workers can pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza,” Ehresmann said. “Vaccinating employees protects patients. Improving vaccination rates among health care workers is an important way to fight influenza infections overall and protect those most at risk.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a standard of vaccinating 90 percent of health care personnel in its Healthy People 2020 objectives. This standard has not yet been reached. National rates of influenza vaccination of health care workers are estimated at 63.5 percent. “Even though Minnesota’s rates are about 72 percent overall, as measured by MDH in 2009, we still have a long way to go,” Ehresmann said.

Under the FluSafe program, health care facilities receive guidance and access to tools and promotional materials from MDH and CDC to help them increase their rates. The facilities record and document their vaccination rates through MDH’s electronic immunization information system.

“The program benefits facilities,” said program coordinator Jennifer Heath. “It shows patients and their families that the facility’s employees are committed to patient safety by actively fighting influenza infection. Annual vaccination keeps workers and their families healthier too.”

Hospitals and nursing homes in the state of Minnesota are eligible to participate in FluSafe. Registration for the 2011-2012 influenza vaccination season is open until December 1, 2011. Interested facilities should click the FluSafe link at

FluSafe Facilities 2010-11 Influenza Season

The hospitals and nursing homes listed below have shown their commitment to protecting patient health by achieving high influenza vaccination rates in their employees.

At least 90 percent of staff were vaccinated against influenza at the following facilities:

  • A.L. Vadheim Memorial Hospital, Tyler
  • Minnesota Valley Health Center Hospital, Le Sueur
  • Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, Marshall
  • Ortonville Hospital, Ortonville
  • Benedictine Living Community, St. Peter
  • Perham Memorial Hospital, Perham
  • Camilia Rose Care Center, Coon Rapids
  • River's Edge Hospital, St. Peter
  • Catholic Eldercare, Minneapolis
  • Sanford Medical Center, Canby
  • Essentia Health, Fosston
  • Sanford Tracy Medical Center, Tracy
  • Grace Home, Graceville
  • St. Francis Healthcare Campus, Breckenridge
  • Holy Trinity Hospital, Graceville
  • Sunrise Manor Nursing Home, Tyler
  • Johnson Memorial Hospital, Dawson
  • Swift County-Benson Hospital, Benson
  • LifeCare Medical Center, Roseau
  • Sylvan Court, Canby
  • LifeCare Greenbush Manor, Greenbush
  • Washburne Court, Paynesville
  • LifeCare Roseau Manor, Roseau
  • Wheaton Community Hospital and Medical Center, Wheaton
  • Maple Lawn Nursing Home, Fulda
  • Windom Area Hospital, Windom

80-89 percent of staff were vaccinated against influenza at the following facilities:

  • Adams Health Care Center, Adams
  • New River Medical Center, Monticello
  • Bayshore Health Center, Duluth
  • New River Medical Center Rehab and Extended Care, Monticello
  • Benedictine Health Center, Duluth
  • Parkview Manor, Ellsworth
  • Bethesda Hospital, St. Paul
  • Paynesville Area Health Care, Paynesville
  • Buffalo Hospital, Buffalo
  • Perham Memorial Home, Perham
  • Children's Hospitals of Minnesota
  • RiverView Care Center, Crookston
  • Clearwater County Memorial Hospital, Bagley
  • Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center, Wabasha
  • Divine Providence Health Center, Ivanhoe
  • Saint Elizabeth's Nursing Home, Wabasha
  • First Light Health System Hospital, Mora
  • Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, Bemidji
  • Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care, Glencoe
  • Sanford Luverne Medical Center, Luverne
  • Golden Living  Center, Bloomington
  • Sanford Worthington Medical Center, Worthington
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Home, Rushford
  • Shriners Hospital, Minneapolis
  • Granite Falls Municipal Hospital & Manor, Granite Falls
  • Sleepy Eye Medical Center, Sleepy Eye
  • Hilltop Care Center, Watkins
  • St. Francis Nursing Home, Breckenridge
  • Johnson Memorial Nursing Home, Dawson
  • St. John's Hospital, Maplewood
  • Lake City Medical Center, Lake City
  • St. Joseph's Area Health Services, Park Rapids
  • Laurels Peak Rehabilitation Center, Mankato
  • St. Joseph's Hospital, St. Paul
  • Lyngblomsten Care Center, St. Paul
  • St. Luke's Hospital, Duluth
  • Madelia Community Hospital, Madelia
  • St. Michael's Hospital, Sauk Centre
  • Mille Lacs Health System Hospital, Onamia
  • United Hospital District, Blue Earth
  • Mille Lacs Health System Long Term Care, Onamia
  • Woodwinds Hospital, Woodbury
  • Morningside Heights Care Center, Marshall


70-79 percent of staff were vaccinated against influenza at the following facilities:

  • Benedictine Health Center of Minneapolis
  • Lakeview Hospital, Stillwater
  • Bethany Community, Alexandria
  • Lakewood Health System, Staples Hospital
  • CentraCare Health System, Long Prairie Hospital
  • Meeker Memorial Hospital, Litchfield
  • CentraCare Health System, Melrose Hospital
  • Minneota Manor Health Care Center, Minneota
  • Chippewa County Montevideo Hospital, Montevideo
  • Minnesota Valley Health Center Nursing Home, Le Sueur
  • Colonial Manor Nursing Home, Lakefield
  • North Valley Health Center, Warren
  • Cook Hospital and Nursing Home, Cook
  • Northfield Hospital, Northfield
  • District One Hospital, Faribault
  • Northfield Long Term Care Center, Northfield
  • Ebenezer Care Center, Minneapolis
  • Ortonville Area Health Services, Ortonville
  • Ebenezer Ridges Care Center, Burnsville
  • RC Hospital, Olivia
  • Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital, Ely
  • Rice Care Center, Willmar
  • Essentia Health St. Mary's, Detroit Lakes
  • Rice Memorial Hospital, Willmar
  • Evansville Care Campus, Evansville
  • RiverView Hospital, Crookston
  • Fairview Seminary Home, Red Wing
  • Rochester Methodist Hospital, Rochester
  • Glencoe Regional Health Services Hospital, Glencoe
  • Saint Marys Hospital, Rochester
  • Karlstad Healthcare Center, Karlstad
  • Saint Therese of New Hope
  • Kittson Memorial Healthcare Center, Hallock
  • Sanford Jackson Medical Center, Jackson
  • Kittson Memorial Hospital, Hallock
  • Southview Acres Health Care Center, West St. Paul
  • Koronis Manor, Paynesville
  • St. Joseph's Medical Center, Brainerd
  • Lake City Medical Center Long Term Care, Lake City
  • Tri-County Health Care, Wadena


For more information, contact:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications

Jennifer Heath
FluSafe program coordinator