Early October 2022

From Our Members

CVHHH Holds Public and

Private Flu Clinics

When many think of home health, it brings to mind hospice care or acute post-hospital care. But our members also concentrate on preventive services. Shortly, they will begin delivering this year’s flu shots to their clients. And some agencies even offer them to the public.

Ashley Lafirira, the Long-Term Care Nurse Coordinator for Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice (CVHHH), is also manager of CVHHH’s public health clinics.

“We have done flu clinics, foot clinics and other health promotion clinics—some with the public and sometimes privately with local businesses,” she relates. “I plan the flu clinics and order the vaccine for them.”

This year she says CVHHH will offer 10 public flu clinics between September 26 and November 2. Lafirira explains that October is the optimal time to get a flu shot because you want to get it before flu season starts, but you don’t want the immunity to wane before flu season is over. 

“It takes a couple weeks after your flu shot to build up immunity,” she explains. “Then it lasts about 12 weeks. You should time it to last through the bulk of the flu season, which lasts through the early winter. The peak is different every year,” she adds.

This year, she says, experts expect the flu season to be more challenging than in most years because we’re not social distancing or masking as much as in the past two years,” she notes. “Also, the measures we were taking may have affected our immune systems—we haven’t been exposed to flu as much, so we might be more at risk.”

Lafirira says the CVHHH clinics will offer clinics to adults—18 years or older—at all sorts of locations throughout Washington County. You can find the list on the agency website at CVHHH.org. She reminds all to wear masks in the health care setting, make sure they’re feeling well and bring their insurance cards. 

“Even if you have no insurance, we will have an option to get a flu shot for free,” she states. “But the high-dose vaccine we give to people who are 65+ will require insurance or out-of-pocket payment.”

She encourages all Vermonters to get flu shots—if your local home health agency isn’t offering clinics, there are many opportunities in primary care settings or at the pharmacy.

“It’s important to protect yourself,” she says, “but also to protect high-risk family and friends.”

Federal Update

Thanks to our Congressional Delegation

Thank you to Congressman Welch and Senator Leahy for their support of the companion bills known as the Preserving Access to Home Health Act. Congressman Welch has signed on as a co-sponsor of H. R. 8581 and Senator Leahy has signed on as a co-sponsor of S. 4605. The Preserving Home Health Act would stop the devastating Medicare cut proposed by CMS. If the cut goes through, our national partners project that 80 percent of Vermont home health agencies will be in the red, putting access to home health services in jeopardy for most Vermonters. 

In the News

VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region offers flu shots

Vermont Business Magazine

Educational Opportunities

Blueprint for OASIS Accuracy

September 26-27, 2022 | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Exam for optional certificate:

September 28 | 8:45 a.m.

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