Shot in the Arm for Public Employees
November 18, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—A collaboration between the City and a physicians’ network is making it easy for the City’s more than 300,000 public employees to stay healthy by providing easy access to the flu shot.
Beginning last Monday on November 10, the Mayor’s Office, along with the Office of Labor Relations, in conjunction with the AdvantageCare Physicians’ network, launched a campaign to make City employees aware of the free vaccination. The City will be providing employees with the opportunity to get the shots in a City-sponsored van or at an agency-sponsored worksite clinic.
But the collaboration with AdvantageCare, a multi-specialty physician practice, enables City employees to go to 36 different locations throughout the five boroughs to get vaccinated.
In the accompanying video, we interviewed AdvantageCare’s Gerren Faustini, regional vice president of operations in Manhattan, who said that the company’s expansive network makes it very easy for public employees to visit a facility near their workplace.
“We make it accessible for them at all times. We’re doing 200 sessions across all of our facilities. We have 450 physicians across Queens, Long Island, Brooklyn, Staten Island and at seven sites here in Manhattan,” said Faustini.
Public employees who want to get their flu shots at one of AdvantageCare's facilities can go to the website, www.acpny.com/city, and download a registration form that they can bring in with them, along with their agency ID and health plan card.
We interviewed Mr. Faustini at AdvantageCare’s largest facility in Manhattan at 215 East 95th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues where public employees can get their shots between the hours of 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday, with after hours up to 9:00 PM, and from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekends.
The collaboration with the City and the opportunity for public employees to get a free flu shot will last only through December, which is why the company created a Twitter hashtag, #GotMyFluShot, to get the word out through as many outlets as possible.
“Our partners over at EmblemHealth set up the hashtag to provide an opportunity for members in the community to reach out via Twitter. We thank EmblemHealth for setting that up,” Faustini said.
For public employees who might be on the fence about getting a flu shot, we asked Dr. Sharon Smith, a physician at the facility on East 95th Street, about the importance of vaccination against the flu.
“The flu is very easy to get; you can get it on the subway, from your neighbor, people touch things. It’s very, very common, and it can make you sick. But there are people who die from the flu every single year. But we’re also worried about our elderly, our children and people with chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma. We want to protect them, but if we protect ourselves first then we’ll protect them as well,” Smith said.
Ms. Smith encouraged the City’s 300,000 public employees to get their flu shots.