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Member Plus Newsletter, September 18th, 2023
18
Sep

Member Plus Newsletter, September 18th, 2023

Dear Clinic Members,
As we move into the fall we are writing with updates on a few things, including immunization scheduling.

First of all, if you’ve been to the clinic in the last couple of weeks you may have noticed that we’ve temporarily re-instituted our mask policy in response to the rising number of Covid infections in the community. We encourage our patients to resume taking precautions when in public shared spaces (like supermarkets, airports, etc), particularly the use of masks and hand washing.

We will be administering flu shots on Mondays and Fridays in October and plan to reach out to all of our patients for scheduling over the next few weeks. If you haven’t heard from us by October 6th, please give us a call at that point. We hope to be able to administer Covid boosters at the same time as flu shots, but the sourcing
for the latest booster is different than the prior ones. While the state Department of Health was supplying the vaccine to clinics and pharmacies before, we now have to source doses from our private suppliers. This has been challenging, and we’re still ascertaining how many doses we’ll be able to get and how soon they’ll arrive in the office. We’ll provide further updates on this as needed.

In the interim, we don’t want to discourage patients who are anxious to get the Covid booster from doing so if they’re able to get scheduled through a different provider, such as their pharmacy. We have had a number of inquiries about the newly-approved RSV vaccine/booster, and we recommend it to anyone over 60 who is interested in getting it. We will not be administering the RSV vaccine at the clinic, however, and recommend that interested patients check with their pharmacy. As with the flu and Covid shots, you don’t need a doctor’s order to get the new RSV vaccine.

There are certain people who are at higher risk of severe illness due to RSV, and we want to encourage patients in the high-risk group to get the RSV booster as soon as they’re able to. From the CDC website:

Epidemiologic evidence indicates that persons aged 60 years and older who are at
highest risk for severe RSV disease and who might be most likely to benefit from
vaccination include those with chronic medical conditions such as:
* Cardiopulmonary disease,
* Kidney disorders,
* Liver disorders,
* Neurologic or neuromuscular conditions,
* Hematologic disorders,
* Diabetes mellitus, and
Moderate or severe immune compromise (either attributable to a medical condition
or receipt of immunosuppressive medications or treatment);
as well as:
* Persons who are frail;
* persons of advanced age;
* persons who reside in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities; and
  persons with other underlying conditions or factors that the provider determines
  might increase the risk for severe respiratory disease.

On another note, we want to take the opportunity to clarify the role and training of nurse practitioners due to a number of patient comments that indicate a possible knowledge gap.

ARNP’s are fully licensed and trained professionals who can practice independently, and typically have many years of experience in patient care. Please check this link if you’d like to know more:
https://www.wechoosenps.org/

We also want to point out that Dr. Crandell and Erica will be hosting students in the office with more regularity in the future, and we hope that our members will continue to support their education. We do see the participation of our patients as voluntary, and want to reiterate that any of you can decline to do so if you’re not comfortable. Our medical assistants will always ask patients when rooming them if they’re comfortable with the student participation.

Lastly, we want to express appreciation to our members for their patience and understanding over the last few weeks as we work through our own “hiccups” in routine due to staff illnesses, family matters, etc. We expect that things should be getting back to normal soon.

Gratefully,
All of the MPFH staff

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