Community Members Encouraged to Say Boo to the Flu
For every provided shot that is billed to insurance, Community Nursing Services gives $2 back to the school. (CNS)
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By Kelly Cannon | firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Nursing Services (CNS) is offering flu shots at various schools during their annual Say Boo to the Flu program. In its fifth year, Say Boo to the Flu has provided hundreds of flu shots to community members throughout the state.
“We wanted to reach out to the public and administer and provide flu shots for the general public and we figured a good way to do that would be in the school system,” Kristy Brower, former director of CNS, said. “That was our focus.”
Cory Fowlks, the current director of CNS, said they reach out to school districts to provide the program and after a relationship has been established, the hope is the school districts would invite them back the next year.
“We’d love to be in any school that would have us,” Fowlks said.
Brower explained the program is primarily in elementary schools because the elementary schools provide a good introduction and capture a large number of community members.
“There’s a lot of feeder schools, lots of elementaries that go into junior highs and junior highs that go into high schools,” Brower said. “We can capture the students at an elementary or junior high level, we then pretty much capture the families in the community and surrounding area.”
CNS tries to correspond the days they’re in the schools with another school event that will draw a large number of families, such as back-to-school night or parent-teacher conferences.
“Ultimately we’re there as on option for someone while they’re there meeting with teachers or parents, after they finish or before. They ultimately come to our table. We are able to capture their information, including insurance,” Fowlks said. “We’re able to help those who are unable to pay due to being uninsured or under-insured. Then after we capture that information, we administer the vaccine, give them something sweet and then send them on their way knowing that we provided a service there.”
In addition to providing flu shots, the Say Boo to the Flu program is able to give the schools $2 for every shot that is billed through insurance.
“We don’t necessarily consider that a fundraising event but rather money that the school or the district might be able to use at their discretion, as an advantage and benefit for having us there,” Fowlks said.
Residents don’t need to have students enrolled in the school in order to participate in the flu shot program. Anyone six months and older can get a flu shot.
“We consider these community events, the idea that we are serving these populations that are there and who are showing up. That includes school staff, the families, the grandparents,” Fowlks said. “We don’t turn people away.”
If community members are unable to attend the Say Boo to the Flu event in their neighborhood, they can also get their flu shot at the CNS Immunization Clinic, 2820 South Redwood Road West Valley City. To see when the clinic is open, visit cns-cares.org or call 801-207-8777.