URMC and US Postal Service Partner to Provide Flu Shots to Postal Workers

November 08, 2001

The U.S. Postal Service and University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC)/Strong Health are vaccinating up to 5,000 workers with flu vaccines in Western New York beginning this week. The Postal Service is providing all vaccine doses, and URMC/Strong Health, through its Project Believe program, is donating the nursing labor to administer the program.

Project Believe is an ambitious and multi-faceted program unveiled by URMC and Strong Health last October, with the goal of helping Rochester to become America's healthiest community by 2020. According to Jay Stein, M.D., CEO of the Medical Center and Strong Health, donating the labor, valued at $35,000, is a perfect example of how the mission of Project Believe is integrated throughout the Medical Center's entire health system to benefit the Rochester community.

"It is important that we are fluid enough to respond to community needs. Since September 11, we are dealing with a different set of public health needs in our community--the people of our community need to feel safe and cared for. Our goal in partnering with the Postal Service is to help bring peace of mind to one segment of the population-postal workers," Stein said, noting that the symptoms of anthrax often mimic those of the flu in early stages of exposure to the disease.

URMC will tap into its School of Nursing's Community Nursing Center to provide the nurses. The Community Nursing Center has already administered 15,000 flu shots in Rochester since October through various programs, and the Center expects to vaccinate another 27,000 by the end of the year through its partnership with the Monroe County Health Department and Wegmans.

In the Rochester area, close to 1,800 vaccinations will be given, beginning on Wednesday evening, November 7, at the Lyell Avenue mail center. On Thursday, flu shots will be administered in three shifts at the Rochester Main Post Office on Jefferson Road. The program is scheduled to be in the Buffalo, Jamestown, Elmira and Ithaca areas the weeks of November 12 and 19. Plans to vaccinate postal workers in other counties surrounding Buffalo and Rochester are being evaluated based on need and availability of vaccine.

For Media Inquiries:
Germaine Reinhardt
(585) 275-6517
Email Germaine Reinhardt