Hospital Provides 809 Free Flu Shots

October 2, 2017

ELKO, Nevada (October 5, 2017) – Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital held its third annual Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday, September 30. Participants were able pull into the hospital parking lot and receive a free flu shot without even getting out of their vehicles.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to get their flu shot,” said Jennifer Koopman, the hospital director of physician relations and the coordinator of the event. “It’s estimated that around 30 million people will contract influenza this winter in the United States. And getting the flu can lead to more serious illnesses. That’s why we encourage everyone to get an annual flu vaccine.”

Over 800 people heard the message and visited the hospital to receive their shots last Saturday. This was an increase from 490 participants at last year’s event.

“It was a really great turnout,” said Koopman. “We were very fortunate to have lots of staff here to handle the demand and keep the traffic flowing. It was wonderful that so many of the student nurses from GBC volunteered their time to help out.”

The first and second year nursing students from Great Basin College administered the flu shots under the supervision of both their instructors and registered nurses from the hospital. “This was a great learning experience for the students, and we are very thankful for our continuing partnership with GBC,” Koopman said.

The theme of gratitude continued throughout the event. Although the flu shots were free, members of the community were encouraged to bring a donation of canned food to fill up the food banks at Friends In Service Helping (FISH) and Ruby Mountain Resource Center (RMRC). While the hospital collected 477 lbs. of food at the event in 2016, this year the community donated over 1,500 lbs.  Several individuals also made cash donations which were divided along with the food between FISH and RMRC.

“This was a day of great generosity,” said Rebecca Hepworth, director of RMRC. “We are grateful to NNRH for inviting RMRC to take part in this event.”

Sherry Smith, executive director of FISH, agreed. “We are thrilled beyond thrilled with this all. Thank you for allowing us to be part of such a wonderful community event.”

Koopman said that she was grateful to everyone who was involved in the flu shot clinic. “The positive benefits from this event touch our region in so many ways. It’s so positive to see everyone – the hospital, the student nurses, and everyday citizens – giving back to make our community healthier.”

Nursing students from Great Basin College and their instructors pose
with Ned the NNRH Needle at the 2017 Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic.