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WVU Tech is awarded grant for H1N1 outreach

The West Virginia University Institute of Technology was recently awarded $25,000 to help cover the cost of its H1N1 outreach efforts.

This grant was awarded by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education and West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.

During the epidemic, the WVU Tech Student Health Clinic, in partnership with WVU Tech’s Tobacco Cessation organization, made over 800 “flu goody bags” which provided students, faculty and staff with bottles of sanitizer, disposable thermometers, packets of tissues and ibuprofen, and information on prevention, diagnosing, and treatment of influenza.

“The health and safety of our students is a top priority. Consequently, we worked closely with local agencies to develop a proactive strategy to educate our students about how to best protect themselves from H1N1,” stated Richard Carpinelli, Dean of Students and head of Tech’s H1N1 Task Force.

In addition, the WVU Tech Student Health Clinic conducted over 15 on-campus flu clinics where it provided free H1N1 vaccinations; installed hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the campus; provided flu and clinic updates on the web and in local newspapers: and, in conjunction with dining services, delivered meals to ill students who were isolated in their rooms.

As part of its outreach program, the WVU Tech Student Health Clinic also partnered with Dr. Traci Boyd Acklin, a pediatrician at Montgomery General Hospital, to provide H1N1 vaccines to the pediatric populations within the greater Montgomery area.

“Since October, we have vaccinated everyone who has asked for the vaccine, and have vaccinated almost 500 people on campus and in the local community,” said Peggy Lambert Fink, Director of Student Health and Family Nurse Practitioner for the clinic.

“With additional support from Montgomery General Hospital, the Fayette and Kanawha County Health Departments, and WVU Tech’s Department of Nursing, we have been able to set up flu clinics in the community. Our effort was truly collaborative between community, county, state and federal health organizations, all of which contributed to a positive outcome of having influenza rates of less than the national average,” Lambert Fink added.

The grant funding was made possible by a grant to HEPC from the West Virginia Public Health Bureau’s Division of Threat Preparedness through a federal appropriation to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

WVU Tech was among 15 other state colleges and universities awarded grant funding for N1N1 outreach efforts.