McAlester Regional Health Center meets 96 percent influenza vaccine challenge

Forty-two Oklahoma hospitals recently met a challenge from the Oklahoma Hospital Association to achieve a health care worker influenza vaccination rate of 96 percent or higher during the 2016-2017 flu season.


“Influenza is associated with 36,000 deaths per year and the risk of complications from influenza is higher among the types of people who are admitted to our hospitals,” said LaWanna Halstead, vice president of quality and clinical initiatives, Oklahoma Hospital Association. “These hospitals have stepped up in ensuring that their patients are protected and a number are joining a trend of hospitals nationwide in instituting mandatory vaccination policies. Many of these hospitals actually went above and beyond the challenge and met vaccination rates of 100 percent.”


Hospitalized patients are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of influenza because their immune systems are often compromised by the illness that caused their admission or by the treatments they are undergoing. Vaccination of health care personnel (HCPs) has been shown to prevent illness and death in patients and reduce influenza and absenteeism among HCPs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended annual vaccination of HCPs since 1984.


Several key national professional organizations have endorsed mandatory policies for influenza vaccination as a condition of employment within health care facilities, including the American Hospital Association. In 2011, the Oklahoma Hospital Association board of trustees developed a position statement urging mandatory influenza policies.


Hospitals meeting the 96 percent challenge are:

Arbuckle Memorial Hospital, Sulphur
Bailey Medical Center, Owasso
Blackwell Regional Hospital
Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, Ada
Duncan Regional Hospital
Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center, Poteau
Elkview General Hospital, Hobart
Fairview Regional Medical Center
Grady Memorial Hospital, Chickasha
Hillcrest Hospital Claremore
Hillcrest Hospital Cushing
Hillcrest Hospital Henryetta
Hillcrest Hospital South, Tulsa
INTEGRIS Cancer Institute, Oklahoma City
INTEGRIS Miami Hospital
INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital, Oklahoma City
Jackson County Memorial Hospital, Altus
Jane Phillips Medical Center, Bartlesville
Lawton Indian Hospital
McAlester Regional Health Center
Mercy Hospital Ada
Mercy Hospital El Reno
Mercy Hospital Healdton
Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City
Mercy Hospital Tishomingo
Mercy Hospital Watonga
Norman Regional HealthPlex
Norman Regional Health System, Porter campus
Okeene Municipal Hospital
Physicians Hospital in Anadarko
Purcell Municipal Hospital
Seiling Municipal Hospital
Select Specialty Hospital Oklahoma City
Sequoyah Memorial Hospital & Home Care
Share Medical Center, Alva
Stillwater Medical Center
Stillwater Medical Rehabilitation Center
St. John Broken Arrow
St. John Medical Center, Tulsa
St. John Owasso
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Enid
WW Hastings Indian Hospital, Tahlequah


MRHC is a regional 171-bed general acute care public trust hospital and healthcare hub serving eight counties in Southeast Oklahoma. With more than 650 employees, the hospital offers a wide array of clinics, and ancillary and outpatient programs.

One Clark Bass Boulevard               McAlester, Oklahoma 74501             (918) 426-1800