We all know the importance of getting your annual flu shot – that, plus frequent hand washing is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways of staying healthy year round and especially during cold and flu season.
But sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds. Finding the time or lacking transportation can be barriers to getting health care, even routine preventative measures.
“Another barrier can be language,” said Franklin Choate, operations supervisor for Akron Children’s Locust Pediatric Care Group. “Locust Pediatrics has a large number of patients who speak English as a second language, and we know they will be much more likely to get a flu vaccine if someone can explain the benefits in their native language.”
Earlier this month, the Locust Pediatric Care Group held its 5th annual flu vaccine clinic, and it was the 4th time in conjunction with the Summit County Health Department. Working together – and with a team from Akron Children’s Language Access – the clinic vaccinated 658 adults and children.
This year, interpreters fluent in 9 languages – Karen, Nepali, Kiswahili, Burmese, Swahili, English, Kinyarwanda, Arabic and Chinese – assisted with the patient education.
The clinic was held at a church in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood, easily accessible to many to many refugees who have immigrated to Akron in recent years.
“The clinic was a resounding success,” said Choate. “It was a real team effort on behalf our Locust Pediatrics staff, the Health Department, our Language Access staff and the volunteers.”