Outcomes Story

Talked on the phone a couple of weeks ago with Kathy Hypes, a public health manager in southwest Virginia. She and a team of colleagues created a business plan back in 2004 to fund flu shots for kids in the school system of Tazewell County, a rural county in the mountains of Virginia.

Talk about unforeseen barriers: for two years the whole country had problems getting the right flu vaccine. Finally last year the group launched their pilot flu shot program in Russell and Tazewell county elementary schools. From that pilot year the team gathered positive stories and used their pilot success to expand the program to the middle schools this year.

If you have worked with the schools before you realize the challenges associated with permissions, space, and timing for a project like this-- not to mention the challenge of making sure that you can generate enough revenue to support the work. Through a combination of Medicaid billing, insurance, state money for uninsured children and a contract with Anthem Healthcare, they have made the finances work-- and made a well-targeted intervention to prevent flu and the spread of flu with one of the larger institutions in the area.