More on Flu's Clues

I'd be interested in hearing more about the project Steve wrote about Monday. It’s called “Flu’s Clues,” and it provides flu vaccine clinics in local public schools. As of mid-October, Tazewell County, VA, nurses had given 596 flu vaccines in 9 school clinics, with two clinics left to go. That’s quite an achievement! This happened in the Cumberland Plateau Health District of Virginia. We write about the CPHD at length in Chapter 7 of the book (Competitors and Partners) as an example of great partnering activity over several years that has resulted in some amazing projects (pp. 67-69).

Some thoughts and questions about this program:

First, this program is a good example of strategic budgeting. You could never just take the annual costs of this project and divide them by 12 to get monthly costs. How does a program like this deal with the large fluctuations in costs over the course of a year? Have any of you come up against this problem in their program planning?

Also, does this team have a plan to expand the program at some point to offer other products or services to school children? Well-child tests or other immunizations, for example? Or is this an example of something well-focused that should stay that way?

Public schools can be problematic when it comes to private sponsorship. Did you come up against that here? What about the rest of you who have experience working with schools – several teams have attempted such programs over the years. One obvious lesson might be to make sure you include a representative from the local schools on your planning team. What are other lessons learned to share from the process of working with public schools?

Anne Menkens