Photo by Maj. Canisha Martin

A sergeant major receives his flu shot during the flu clinic Oct. 6 held in the JBM-HH Community Center.

JBM-HH flu clinic provides more than 500 influenza vaccines

On Oct. 6, the George Mason School of Nursing and the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Andrew Rader Health Clinic collaborated to host a flu clinic at the JBM-HH Community Center where 519 vaccines were provided to the community.

Maj. Canisha Martin, the deputy commander for nursing at Andrew Rader Health Clinic, said that this year it is especially important to remain healthy and build immunity with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is extremely important to reduce the strain on the health care system, minimize hospitalization and ensure a healthy immune system,” said Martin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, influenza was responsible for 35.5 million illnesses, 16.5 million medical visits, almost 500,000 hospitalizations and 34,200 deaths.

She added that military civilian partnerships are vital in many aspects to include the delivery of health care.

“As we have seen during this pandemic, there is an unquenchable need for nurses and we at Andrew Rader clinic value our partnership with GMU School of Nursing as we are able to provide valuable clinical experiences for nursing students at our community flu clinics,” she said. “We cherish the small role we play in providing clinic opportunities for these students during their community health semester. Equally, the students and their instructors are an integral part of our plan and ability to provide almost 9,000 influenza vaccinations yearly. Their attention to detail and focused efforts on infection control and nursing processes assist the Andrew Rader team in making all of our events safe and efficient.”

George Mason University is military friendly, and the school of nursing has specific programs for active and retired military personnel to transition smoothly into the school of nursing undergraduate and graduate programs.

“George Mason University appreciates the opportunity for our students to serve the Fort Myer community each year,” said Dr. Charlene Douglas, associate professor at GMU College of Health and Human Services School of Nursing. “As a faculty member, I appreciate the organized and professional example offered by the Soldiers and staff as they serve up to 500 community members per day. The strategic planning and logistics that are in evidence, is extraordinary role modeling that the students would not get in the largest acute hospital systems.”

Editor’s note: Maj. Canisha Martin and Dr. Charlene Douglas contributed to this story.