President Gresham Rolls Up for a Flu Shot at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Hospital

October 11, 2013

Members of 1199SEIU and the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center welcomed Dr. Nirav Shah, New York State Dept. of Health, Greater health commissioner, New ork Hospital Association President Ken Raske and 1199SEIU President George Gresham for an event to stress the importance of flu shots for front line healthcare workers.

In their remarks Gresham, Shah and Raske emphasized that workers in our healthcare institutions need to either ‘Roll Up or Mask Up’ for the protection of their patients, themselves and their families.

“This is a really important day for us here at Maimonides,” said Shah. “As healthcare workers our first goal is to first do no harm.”

He cited flu statistics that included 45,000 cases in New York State last year that resulted in the deaths of 4,000 children.

“Immunization is a very important step in making sure we give the patients who come into our institution good, quality care and also that we can take care of our own families when we go home to them,” said Gresham. “We can’t predict the flu season, but we can make sure that we’re prepared for it.”

Gresham, who got a flu shot at the event from Maimonides’ CIR member Dr. Paul Kantrowitz, shared that the immunization was particularly important because his wife is a dialysis patient. “It’s important for me to protect her,” he said.

Cashier Onika Badu, a member of Maimonides’ Labor-Management Committee and an 1199 Delegate. thought the event helpfully dovetailed with work their committee has been doing around influenza education.

“We’ve been mentioning it at our meetings. Most of the VP’s from the different areas are on our committee and we stress it to them to take the information back to their departments,” she says. “We also stress that the shot isn’t mandated and that people should wear masks to protect themselves and their patients.”

“It makes you realize how important your healthcare benefits are,” added physician assistant Thomas McIntyre. “We’re the ones dealing with infectious diseases and constantly exposing ourselves to pathogens, so it’s important for us to be protected and for us to have benefits like this.”