For the second year in a row, Tri-City Medical Center has received a Silver Recognition Award from the Joint Commission Resources for its participation in the Flu Vaccination Challenge, a national program to increase flu vaccination rates among health care workers.

The Silver Recognition Award is given to organizations that have achieved an 85 percent to 94 percent level of compliance with vaccination of their employees. The Centers for Disease Control and Joint Commission have targeted a 90 percent or higher influenza vaccination rate for employees by 2020.

Tri-City’s Chief Nurse Executive Sharon Schultz said flu vaccinations are part of the hospital’s patient safety program. “Vaccination protects patients, their families, and coworkers,” Ms. Schultz said.

The Joint Commission praised the hospital for its participation in the program.

“Your commitment to patient and employee safety and health is evidenced by this significant accomplishment,” said Diane M. Sosovec, RN and program manager for the Joint Commission Resources’ Department of Education.

Tri-City Medical Center also received a Silver Recognition Award last year.

Education and implementation of a policy requiring non-vaccinated employees to wear a surgical mask are credited with helping Tri-City Medical Center achieve the highest influenza vaccination rates in the county.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, an annual flu vaccination is the most effective method for preventing flu virus infection and its complications.

Joint Commission Resources, a nonprofit affiliate of The Joint Commission, launched the Flu Vaccination Challenge during the 2008-2009 flu .

Hospital employee vaccination rates are published by the California Department of Health Services and are available at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/hai/Pages/InfluenzaVaccination.aspx.