CEO Update | Being proactive about flu season

Fellow Caregivers,

We continue to prepare for the upcoming flu season. The first step involved Universal Pandemic Precautions, which promote caregiver safety. We now turn our attention to flu vaccination.

Flu is a serious respiratory illness and has not disappeared because of the pandemic. There are also rare cases where people could become ill with both flu and COVID-19, resulting in more severe cases. Early flu vaccination is therefore crucial.

Tomorrow, we open a caregiver walk-in flu clinic on main campus for any caregivers in Ohio. The clinic closes Sept. 18. We are beginning our flu program this year with the walk-in flu clinic to accommodate as many early vaccinations as possible.

Caregivers will also have the option to receive a flu shot at their nearest Occupational Health location by appointment only. For patients, we have also begun appointment-only flu vaccine clinics in northeast Ohio.

Another goal is to limit the spread of illness in the workplace. We have created an online screening tool, called COVID Pass, which we will complete daily before our shifts at a Cleveland Clinic location. It asks questions about symptoms of illness. If you are ill, you will be instructed to call off and contact our COVID-19 hotline for an evaluation of symptoms. Learn more about COVID Pass.

All of these initiatives, when combined, create extra layers of protection. Thank you for your compliance and support.

As we remind patients to seek care within the safety of our locations, we are sensitive to specific populations. One of our focus areas is men’s health. Our annual “MENtion It” campaign aims to address how men often do not mention health issues.

Cleveland Clinic issued a national survey to men to learn how the pandemic is impacting their health. We learned the majority of men are reporting increased feelings of stress and isolation, and nearly half of men report worsening mental health. Read our release to learn more.

Our hope is for men to care for themselves the same way their loved ones care for them and to have open discussions about health with their families.

In challenging times like these, it’s even more important that we treat each other as family. Caregivers who are experiencing temporary financial hardships, including those due to COVID-19, can apply for financial support through the Caregiver Hardship Fund. We are offering maximum grants of $500 and $1,000 through the fund, which is supported by philanthropy.

Our Ideas for Tomorrow series continues next week. Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, joins us on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Register for the virtual event.

Thank you for your dedication.

 Dr. Mijahlevic |  Cleveland Clinic

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President