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DaVita Receives National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Immunizations

May 16, 2014  | Press Releases
DENVER, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DaVita Kidney Care, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, was recognized at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) as the national winner in the "Healthcare Personnel Campaign" category of the 2014 Immunization Excellence Awards.

The awards will be presented today during the annual NAIIS program in Atlanta, Georgia. The awards recognize individuals and companies that have made outstanding progress in their communities toward improving vaccination rates.

In 2013, DaVita was the first large dialysis provider to implement a comprehensive teammate vaccination order, requiring all teammates who work in or whose jobs require frequent visits to dialysis centers to either be vaccinated against influenza or wear surgical masks in patient-care areas.

"Dialysis patients have chronically-suppressed immune systems and, as a result, are particularly vulnerable to many preventable diseases. They often have a longer, more serious course of illness from the flu and a higher risk of complications," said Allen R. Nissenson, MD, DaVita's chief medical officer. "DaVita's teammate vaccination initiative was an important step in reducing preventable disease outbreaks, reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and increasing our patients'—and our teammates'—quality of life."

As of March 15, DaVita achieved 100 percent compliance with its teammate immunization-or-mask directive, with more than 86 percent of teammates choosing vaccination. As of the same date, 92.2 percent of patients were vaccinated for the flu, marking the fourth consecutive year that DaVita's patient vaccination rates exceeded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 recommendations.

DaVita's Vaccination Task Force comprises infection surveillance and management specialists, as well as representatives from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and several other teams. The task force established a dedicated team of Vaccination Communicators and empowered trained Vaccination Advocates to discuss immunization risks and benefits with patients and teammates. DaVita also authorized an extensive, multi-phase communication campaign that helped ensure teammates were informed and engaged in the vaccination effort.
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