DIRECTOR’S DESK CHRISTINA R. GHALY, MD
As the end of the year approaches, it will soon be time for indoor gatherings with friends and family. This is a particularly important time of year to get your annual influenza (flu) vaccination.
The 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine is now available at LA Health Services and at major pharmacy chains in the area. There is no cost for the vaccine.
The flu is highly contagious and can manifest with a range of symptoms that can vary from mild to severe. The flu vaccine is the best way to help protect yourself, your family and friends against the flu. Vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of illness, hospitalizations and flu-related death. The flu vaccines are generally administered in September and October to ensure that protection extends throughout the flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that the vaccine be administered to babies 6 months of age and older through older adults.
People at Higher Risk of Flu Complications include persons over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant persons, and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or HIV).
As a condition of employment and continued employment, an annual influenza vaccination is mandatory for every workforce member who performs work at LA Health Services and all its facilities and programs.
To lower the risk of transmission, the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a Health Officer Order mandating that licensed acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and emergency medical services provider agencies in the County implement a program under which healthcare personnel receive an annual influenza immunization for the current season or wear a respiratory mask for the duration of the influenza season when in contact with patients or working in patient-care areas. The Health Officer Order can be found here. Staff are encourage to look here (link is accessible for DHS staff only) to learn about how to obtain a free flu vaccine and learn more about how to comply with this requirement. Staff are required to obtain an annual flu vaccine by November 1 of each year. The policy can be found here (link is only available to staff).
LA Health Services patients can schedule an appointment to get a vaccine by calling your doctor’s office or you can self-schedule through the LA Health Portal. The LA Health Services flu page offers options on how to get a vaccine. The good habits established to protect ourselves during the pandemic still apply. Handwashing, staying home when ill, and social distancing can help protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
There are so many reasons to get the vaccine. Take a look at these videos showing why our colleagues got the vaccine.
In this month’s edition, we acknowledge the inspiring story of Dr. Nicholas Do, a plastic surgeon who helped a young woman who was tragically mauled by a pit bull. It’s important to acknowledge the exceptional work that goes on everyday throughout our facilities.
We also recognize the many individuals living longer, healthier lives with HIV. Their journeys are informing strategies to help others.
September was recovery month for substance use disorders and mental health. See below to learn more about this. Recovery is possible.
Thank you for all you do.
Dr. Christina Ghaly
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness DayNational HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Aging-and-HIV-1024x663.jpg 1024 663 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
On September 18, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognized National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAD). This day celebrated the individuals with HIV that are living longer, healthier lives.learn more
LA Health Services ProudLA Health Services Proud https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/la_health_services_proud_2color-002.png 792 342 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
Dr. Nicholas Do, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center recently spoke about his work with Brooklin Khoury, a professional skateboarder and model that was mauled by a pit bull.learn more
September is National Recovery MonthSeptember is National Recovery Month https://dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/SAMHSA-Recovery-is-Possible-for-Everyone-V3-1024x709.jpg 1024 709 Health Services Los Angeles County //dhs.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/dhs-logo.svg
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (nih.gov), mental illnesses are very common in the United States. It is estimated that more than one in five adults live with a form of mental illness.learn more