• Categories
  • Click For Articles

    LaSalle Medical Associates Helps Stop H1N1 With 20,000 Flu Shots

    Isabell Gonez helps the mother of a pediatric patient check her son in at the LaSalle Medical Associates’ Hesperia clinic. Over the past six months, more than 10,000 LaSalle patients have checked in to receive H1N1 immunizations, and almost that many have received seasonal flu immunizations. (Photo by Chris Sloan)



    Fontana Clinic Staff: Right to left: Dr. Halima Shahabudin-MD Physician, Dr. Tara Agena-Pediatrics, Iris Iniquez- Front Office Receptionist, Araceli Chavez-Medical Biller, Yadira Seccombe-Medical Billing, Carmon Maya-CAA Healthy Families, Elisa Smith-Medical Biller, Denise Evans-Medical Biller, Jose Arroyo-Receptionist, Jessica Gozman-Front Office, Tina Hoyle-Office Manager, Dr. Cheryl Emoto-Medical Director (Photo by Chris Sloan)
    Hesperia Clinic Staff: Front Row Left to Right: Sixta Boladen-Referral Coordinator, April Rea-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Dr Cheryl Emoto-Pediatrics Medical Director, Dr Flex Albano-Internal Medicine, Dr Joseph Selvara-International Medicine, Dr Rosa Loyola-Pediatrics, Patty Alcala-Receptionist, Elisabeth Garcia-Medical Assistant, Joanna Anbriz-Medical Assistant, Veronica Rocha-Medical Assistant 
    Back Row Left to Right: Delfina Ibarra-Maid, Leticia Regin-CAA Health Families, Kim Belle-Medical Biller, Linda Long-Corporate Administrator, Isabell Gonez-Receptionist, Angelica Lopez-Adult & Pediatrics Lab Tech, Denise Alarcon-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Barbar Garber-Employee Training & Education, Wendy DuBon-Patient Relations Coordinator (Photo by Chris Sloan)
    Seventeenth Street Staff:   Front Row Left to Right: Angela Lobo-Receptionist, Iris Reyes-Referrals Coordinator, Marja Bryant-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Leticia Hinojosa-Medical Assistant, Tawny Gomez-Medical Records, Alison Atkinson-Physician Assistant, Poleth Olaiz-Medical Assistant, Alicia Garcia-Back Office Supervisor

    Back Row Left to Right: Leticia Morfin-Medical Assistant, Aracelly Palma-Lab Medical Assistant, Dr Gurbani, Lorrena Ayala-Front Office, Edith Reyes-Phone Operator, Dr. Damon Greene (Photo by Matt Sloan)
    Mt. Vernon Office Staff: Front Row Left to Right: Brenda Marroquin-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Dulce Hernandez-Operations Manager, Rocio Renteria-Receptionist, Monica Rodriguez-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Lynette Frausto-Family Practice Medical Assistant, Susette Galvan-Family Practice Medical Assistant, Dr. Romeo Rodriguez 

    Back Row Left to Right: Christina Gallegos-Medical Assistant, Christina Cotton-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Dr Usanee Sanders, Fabiola Partida-Pediatrics Medical Assistant, Susan DeFrates-Retention Department, Mercedes Corral-Adult Medical Assistant (Photo by Chris Sloan)
    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc. gave nearly 20,000 flu immunizations this flu season – more than double what it has most years.
    “This is a celebration. It was a major effort on everyone’s part, and one that many of the staff believe has made a difference in curbing the spread of H1N1 and other types of flu,” said Medical ‍Director, Dr. Cheryl Emoto.
    “The H1N1 immunization worked,” said Dr. Halima Shahabuddin, a pediatrician at the Fontana clinic. “We gave this immunization in time to our patients. Had we not, we would have seen many more cases.”
    Dr. Emoto notes LaSalle Medical Associates saw most of its cases of H1N1 in the fall, before the vaccine became available to everyone.
    In the flu season of October 2009 through March 2010, La Salle Medical Associates provided 8,629 seasonal flu vaccinations and 10,633 H1N1 flu vaccinations. This meant more than twice as much work for the staff as a year earlier, when they provided 8,677 seasonal flu vaccinations.
    In years past, one vaccine protected recipients against all types of flu.
    But the H1N1 virus was different. It is a virus that had not been seen in humans prior to 2009, according to the Center for Disease Control. Thus, people exposed to it had little or no immunity, and the disease spread rapidly.
    Because of the widespread, sometimes deadly, cases of H1N1 the World Health Organization took the rare step of labeling it a pandemic in June 2009. But for many, the fear of H1N1 was greater than the reality.
    “This started a year ago, when the H1N1 virus first broke out in Mexico,” said Dr. Emoto. “Many people had just returned from spring break in Mexico when they first heard of what was then known as swine flu. Some of them panicked and said ‘I have been to Mexico recently. I must have it.’”
    LaSalle Medical Associates converted its four clinics to “flu screening and treatment centers” for four weeks in Spring 2009. During this time, it saw more than 300 people each day who at least thought they had flu symptoms.
    But, Dr. Emoto says that LaSalle Medical Associates didn’t see more than a few cases of H1N1 flu until the fall. Most cases of flu reported in the last six months were likely H1N1, according to the Center for Disease Control.
    A vaccine for H1N1 wasn’t available at the start of the new flu season in October 2009. When it first became available it was only in limited doses, so county health departments placed restrictions on who could receive the vaccine.
    On Dec. 21, 2009, as the vaccine had become widely available, San Bernardino County lifted its restrictions. The vaccine was then available to all who asked for it.
    “We actually had more vaccines than we needed for a time after our Mt. Vernon clinic accidentally received a double shipment,” Dr. Emoto said. “Throughout the flu season, we encouraged all our patients to receive this vaccination and most were happy to do so.”
    Next flu season, LaSalle Medical Associates employees won’t need to give more than double the usual number of shots.
    “There will be three strains covered by the flu vaccine for next season,” Dr. Emoto said. “One of these will be H1N1, so you will only need one vaccine.”
    About LaSalle Medical Associates
    LaSalle’s philosophy is that everyone deserves quality health care, and to be treated by his or her physician with dignity and respect. LaSalle Medical Associates clinics welcome low income, elderly and disabled patients. They accept most insurance.
    Founded in 1984, LaSalle has 110 employees, and is an Independent Physicians Association member serving more than 100 doctors.
    LaSalle has four Inland Empire clinics. Two are in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street and 565 North Mt. Vernon Avenue, the Fontana facility at 17577 Arrow Boulevard and Hesperia’s at 16455 Main Street. The Sean Park Law headquarters is near the Vernon Avenue so go and check that too.
    For more information or to make an appointment, call (909) 890-0407.

    Trackback from your site.

    Leave a comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.