January 22, 2019

As of January 11, 90.7 percent of Texas Children’s employees had received the flu vaccine. A special thank you goes out to all of you who have taken such an important step in protecting yourselves, your colleagues and our patients and families. Although we are excited to see so much participation across the system, we still want to encourage employees to get their vaccine. It is not too late!

“Flu activity has increased over the past three to four weeks here in Houston, we are already seeing positive flu cases at the Employee Medical Clinic, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipates flu activity to increase in the coming weeks,” said Dr. Irene Lomeda, the Employee Medical Center physician. “The good news from the most recent CDC data is that the flu vaccine seems to be on target for the major flu strain affecting this year’s flu season with lesser hospitalizations and lesser pediatric deaths.”

Employee Health continues to administer flu vaccines at no cost to Texas Children’s employees. The flu vaccine is also covered at 100 percent under our Texas Children’s Medical Plan, enabling employees to receive their flu vaccine at no cost through any in-network provider or retail pharmacy. If you have any questions about the safety and effectiveness of the flu vaccine, you may call Employee Health at 832-824-2150, option 2.

Staff who do not receive their flu vaccine should wear a surgical mask when providing direct patient care services for the duration of the flu season, which was declared on December 19, 2018. See Required Influenza Vaccination Policy and Procedure for more details.

If you elect to decline the flu vaccine this year, you are required to complete a Flu Declination Form. Prior to completing the declination form, review the Flu Vaccine Information Statement (VIS). The declination form can be found on the Employee Health and Wellness Portal. Follow these instructions to gain access:

Log in to the Employee Health and Wellness Portal. If this is your first time logging into the portal, click “Having trouble logging in” to reset your password. For instructions on how to log in to the portal click here or click here to view step-by step instructions.
Once you log in, click on the “Forms” tab, then select the 2018-Flu Declination Form.

Let’s amplify unity and prevent the spread of infections by practicing good health habits:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home when you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. If you begin to feel sick with flu-like symptoms while at work, call the Employee Medical Clinic at 832-824-2424.
  • Wash your hands often. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and at work, especially when someone is ill.
  • For more tips on preventing the flu, visit CDC Flu Prevention.
September 18, 2018

Flu season is almost here! While a record breaking 91 percent of our employees received their flu vaccine in 2017, we continue to strive to make the flu vaccination program even more successful. This year we have a lot of exciting new plans to share with you, such as an increased amount of flu vaccination events across the organization and a new online process for employees to submit proof of vaccinations. As a way to encourage our workforce to get vaccinated earlier in the season, all staff who receive their flu vaccine by Friday, November 2, will be entered into a drawing to win one of 25 Nutri Ninja Pro Blenders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts this year’s flu season will begin in October. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu and its potentially serious complications. To learn more about the upcoming flu season, click here. Please remind staff that receiving a flu vaccine protects our patients and their families, reduces flu illnesses, doctor’s visits and missed workdays, and; helps to prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Below is a more in-depth overview of what to expect for our Flu Program in 2018.

Flu Program Details
  • Employee Health will administer free flu vaccines to Texas Children’s employees, Baylor College of Medicine employees working at Texas Children’s facilities, Morrison, Crothall, or Compass contract employees and volunteers of Texas Children’s Hospital. Employee Health will administer free flu vaccines to Texas Children’s employees, Baylor College of Medicine employees working at Texas Children’s facilities, Morrison, Crothall, or Compass contract employees and volunteers of Texas Children’s Hospital.
  • Click on the graphic to the right to view Texas Children’s vaccination event schedule.
  • Upon vaccination at Texas Children’s, staff will receive a 2018-2019 flu season sticker to place on their badges. Upon vaccination at Texas Children’s, staff will receive a 2018-2019 flu season sticker to place on their badges.
  • Employees who receive their flu vaccine by November 2, 2018, will be entered into a drawing to win one of 25 Nutri Ninja Pro Blenders. Employee Health will email winners at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7.
  • In order to protect our patients from exposure to influenza, employees who decline the flu vaccine for approved exemptions should wear a surgical mask when providing direct patient care services for the duration of the influenza season. See In order to protect our patients from exposure to influenza, employees who decline the flu vaccine for approved exemptions should wear a surgical mask when providing direct patient care services for the duration of the influenza season. See Required Influenza Vaccination Policy and Procedure for more details.

Online Consent Form and Proof of Vaccination

  • Texas Children’s employees are to complete their Flu Vaccine Consent Form online via the Employee Health & Wellness Portal prior to attending a flu vaccination event.*
  • This process greatly reduced the wait times for flu vaccination last year, as well as eliminated the need to scan or fax the Flu Vaccine Consent Forms to Employee Health.
  • Click here to view a quick video tutorial on how to access the flu vaccine consent form online.
  • For instructions on how to log in to the portal click here or click here to view step-by step instructions.
  • New Process: Employees who receive their flu vaccine outside of Texas Children’s can easily submit their attestation and proof of vaccination via this online form. Employee Health will no longer accept proof of vaccination via fax or email.

If you have any questions, please contact Employee Health Services at 832-824-2150, option 2.

* Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities will continue to complete paper consent forms when they receive the flu vaccine.

September 26, 2017

Each fall, we ask that you get vaccinated against the flu virus to not only protect yourself but to protect those around you. We know that our employees are instinctively driven to do the right thing for our patients and that means getting vaccinated against the flu every year.

Here’s what to expect for 2017.

Flu season details
  • NEW – Upon vaccination, staff will receive a 2017-2018 flu season sticker to place on their badges.
  • Flu vaccines will become available at our flu vaccination events beginning Tuesday, September 26. See Required Influenza Vaccination Policy and Procedure for more details.
  • Employee Health will be administering free flu vaccines to Texas Children’s employees, medical staff, volunteers, and Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities. Click here for the BCM Occupational Health Program schedule.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts this year’s flu season will begin in October. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against flu and its potentially serious complications. To learn more about our upcoming flu season, click here.
Vaccine administration

Prior to receiving your vaccine, Texas Children’s employees are to complete their Flu Consent Form online via the Employee Health & Wellness Portal. Click here for portal instructions.

This process greatly reduced the wait times for flu vaccination last year as well as eliminated the need to scan or fax the flu consent forms to Employee Health.

Thank you in advance for doing the right thing and receiving your flu vaccine!
Note: Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities will continue to complete paper consent forms when they receive the flu vaccine.

October 25, 2016

Angela Logan held up the sleeve of her Halloween-themed scrub and looked stoically ahead as a nurse with Employee Health & Wellness gave her an annual flu vaccine.

Logan, a certified medical assistant, said during one of Employee Health and Wellness’ recent flu vaccine events that she’s been getting the flu shot since she was 14 or 15 years old.

“My mom was a pediatric nurse and she always encouraged me to get it,” Logan said. “She told me it was to protect myself and those I love and care for both at home and at work.”

So far this flu season, Logan is one of 7,000 Texas Children’s employees who have gotten their flu shot, bringing our vaccinated employee population to 60 percent. The remaining 40 percent of Texas Children’s employees are highly encouraged to get their free flu vaccine from Employee Health and Wellness at one of the remaining flu vaccine events or by contacting Employee Health and Wellness to schedule a time to come by the Employee Health Clinic to receive a shot.

Click here for flu vaccine event schedules and here to see pictures from one of the events. It is recommended that employees complete their online consent form via the Employee Health and Wellness Portal before attending a flu vaccine event – click here for instructions. However, employees are able to fill out the consent form at the events as well.

Texas Children’s provides the seasonal influenza vaccinations at no cost to:

  •  Texas Children’s employees
  •  Texas Children’s medical staff
  •  Texas Children’s volunteers
  •  Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities
  •  Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Health Centers and The Center for Women and Children will receive separate instructions from their leaders about seasonal flu vaccination.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and can even lead to death. Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated every year.

“The benefits of not having to worry about the flu and the benefits of not having to worry about giving the flu to someone else are way better than any side effects that are common from the it,” said Dr. David Huss, a resident with the Child Neurology Program. “Your arm might be sore for a couple of days but that’s worth the cost.”

Stay tuned for updates about Texas Children’s seasonal vaccination program. If you have questions, please call Employee Health at 832-824-2150, option 1.

For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

September 27, 2016

Texas Children’s is committed to the health, safety and well-being of our patients, families, and employees. This commitment is especially evident as we enter flu season. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and can even lead to death. Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated every year.

Getting vaccinated at Texas Children’s is quick and easy. This year, receiving the vaccine is even quicker and easier than in the past as our flu vaccine consent forms are available online via the Employee Health and Wellness Portal. Click here for flu vaccine event schedules. Employees are to complete their online consent form before attending a flu vaccine event – click here for instructions.

Employee Health will be administering seasonal influenza vaccinations at no cost to:

  • Texas Children’s employees
  • Texas Children’s medical staff
  • Texas Children’s volunteers
  • Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities

Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Health Centers and The Center for Women and Children will receive separate instructions from their leaders about seasonal flu vaccination.

Stay tuned for updates about Texas Children’s seasonal vaccination program. If you have questions, please call Employee Health at 832-824-2150, option 1.

For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

February 9, 2016

21016Cooperflu640Super heroes come in many shapes and sizes, and Texas Children’s Health Plan encouraged students to channel their inner super hero by protecting themselves and their families against the flu. Schools from eight school districts in Houston, Beaumont and the surrounding areas were invited to participate in a month-long super hero themed flu vaccination contest. The school in each district with the most students receiving the flu vaccination won a pizza party that included pizza and drinks. A portion of the drinks were provided by Kroger.

“With more than 2 million Texans admitted to the hospital last year because of flu, it is very important we do something to protect children and their families,” stated Dr. Heidi Schwarzwald, Chief Medical Officer, Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Health Plan. “Texas Children’s Health Plan wanted to empower children to be an active part in their health and wellness in a fun way. We are very excited that so many schools and students participated in the contest.”

During the month-long contest (October 15 through November 15), more than 2,000 students from 93 schools in eight school districts were immunized against the flu. The winning schools were:

  • Johnson Elementary – Aldine ISD
  • Fletcher Elementary – Beaumont ISD
  • McFee Elementary – Cy-Fair ISD
  • Dick Dowling – Port Arthur ISD
  • Taylor Ray Elementary – Lamar CISD
  • Hopper Elementary – Goose Creek ISD
  • Jessup Elementary – Pasadena ISD
  • Rhoads Elementary – Katy ISD
  • Cooper Elementary – Spring ISD

Texas Children’s Health Plan began their cold and flu initiative in the fall of 2015 to help educate parents about flu and cold. In addition to the school contest, Texas Children’s Health Plan also launched www.coldandfluhero.org and created Cold and Flu Defender kits to distribute to their members. The kits included tissues, nasal saline, hand sanitizer, bulb syringe and information on how to prevent cold and flu symptoms.

November 10, 2015

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Flu season is here with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting cases being seen sporadically across the United States, including Texas. To protect yourself and others against the serious, potentially deadly, infection, the CDC and the Executive Director of Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research Dr. Carol J. Baker urges everyone – especially health care workers – to get vaccinated.

“We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our patients to get vaccinated against the flu,” Baker said. “As long as the season is going on, and you are not protected, you can get influenza.”

For those who are still debating on whether to get the free flu shot offered to all Texas Children’s employees, Baker, a pediatric infectious disease specialist well known for her work in both immunization research and education, addresses some of the top concerns about the vaccine and the flu in the video below.

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As of Friday, November 6, 63 percent of Texas Children’s employees had gotten a flu shot, according to statistics provided by Jill Fragoso, director of Employee Health and Wellness. Last year, Texas Children’s achieved a 90 percent vaccination rate. We want to reach or exceed that rate this year. As a reminder, employees should be in compliance by Tuesday, December 1. Leaders can run reports for their area(s) via the Health and Wellness portal. Individuals who would like to view and/or print their immunization records can click here for instructions on how to access that portal.

How to get vaccinated
Free flu shots are being offered to all Texas Children’s employees, Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities, Texas Children’s medical staff and volunteers at various events across the organization and at the Employee Health Clinic. Click here to view the dates and locations for your vaccination. If you are unable to make one of these dates, please make an appointment at the Employee Health clinic, located on the fifth floor of the Abercrombie Building near the yellow elevators, after October 1. If you have questions, please call Employee Health at Ext. 4-2150. West Campus Employee Health is located on the campus’ second floor and can be reached at Ext. 7-1365.

Visitation restrictions
Based on the increasing incidence of respiratory illness, Texas Children’s Hospital has instituted new visitation restrictions for the inpatient units and critical care areas. To read more about these restrictions please click here.