Any patient or member of the public visiting a Carondelet Health Network hospital or facility can be confident their caregiver has received a flu shot this year. Carondelet’s 4,400 associates and 1,100 physician partners are participating in a universal flu vaccination effort which began this month.

More than 9,800 confirmed cases of influenza were reported to the Arizona Department of Health Services during the 2010-2011 flu season and nearly 4,000 in the 2011-2012 season. Carondelet Health Network is doing its part to reduce those statistics by taking a proactive approach. All clinical and non-clinical associates (employees), active medical personnel, volunteers and hospital-based vendors will be required to get a flu shot. Carondelet’s Health & Wellness Division is providing the vaccinations. Once flu season arrives, any associate, physician, volunteer or vendor unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons must wear a mask and gloves when they are in a patient room or within six feet of patients.

"Carondelet believes that immunization, at its core, is a patient safety issue," said Donald Denmark, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital and Carondelet Health Network. "We believe that anyone who enters our doors—patients, their families, or our staff—should be safe and confident in the knowledge that they are entering an environment that is as healthy as it can be."

Carondelet Health Network is the first health care system in Southern Arizona to comply with universal vaccination guidelines, which have been endorsed by the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics, just to name a few. Carondelet’s prevention efforts place it in the company of health systems such as UCLA and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as partner systems within Ascension Health, Carondelet’s parent healthcare Ministry.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness spread mostly through coughing and sneezing. In the most vulnerable, it can lead to hospitalizations and, sometimes, even death. But, it is also preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Carondelet also encourages our community to "Be well" this season by getting a flu vaccine.

About Carondelet Health Network Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, not-for-profit health care system dedicated to responding to the health, prevention, education, and wellness needs of Southern Arizonans. Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet more than 130 years ago. Carondelet’s Tucson facilities include St. Mary's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute, and Carondelet Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Carondelet’s family of services also include nearly two dozen primary and specialty care offices, an ambulatory surgery center, several imaging centers, Hospice and Palliative Care, and a variety of other outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, not-for-profit health care system. In Fiscal Year 2012, Carondelet provided nearly $66 million in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to health care. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at www.carondelet.org.