Veggies & Vaccines: IU Health adds free flu shots to mobile produce delivery
IU Health uses Garden on the Go service to bring additional health services to underserved communities.
| Indianapolis—When Indiana University Health’s Garden on the Go® mobile produce delivery truck makes its rounds next week, it will be supplying more than just flu-fighting vegetables. Through a partnership with the Marion County Public Health Department to supply the vaccines, IU Health will be providing free flu shots at 15 Garden on the Go stops November 18-22. This unique Veggies & Vaccines campaign means people living in underserved areas of the Indianapolis community will not only receive low-cost produce, but a flu shot free of charge.
“It is IU Health’s goal to bring healthcare into the communities that need it the most,” said Lisa Cole, manager of Indianapolis community outreach for IU Health. “Our Garden on the Go customers typically face more health challenges than the average resident, so this is precisely the population we want to reach with preventable health measures such as flu shots and healthy, affordable food options.”
IU Health provides a registered nurse to supervise the administration of flu vaccines by nursing students from the IU School of Nursing and Marian University. Leveraging these established relationships and the existing Garden on the Go programming enabled IU Health to mobilize easily and provide this service free of charge to the community.
The program was piloted in October. During that initial, weeklong deployment, 304 vaccines were administered at 20 partner locations, community centers and other stops. More than half of the recipients reported they had not received a flu vaccine in 2012.
“Proper nutrition is important to good health, but so is the seasonal flu shot,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marion County Public Health Department. “Through this partnership with Garden on the Go, people will have the opportunity to purchase affordable fruits and vegetables and get a flu shot to double their protection.”
Last year, 72 flu-related deaths were reported by the Indiana State Department of Health. Access, cost and hours of operation are often cited as barriers to receiving the vaccine and so the Veggies & Vaccines campaign aims to address those issues by taking flu shots to the vulnerable populations during key times chosen by our community partners at no cost to the public.
The next round of flu vaccinations with Garden on the Go will be held at various community stops November 18-22. Click here for dates, times and locations. Media may contact Sally Winter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.473.2574.
About Garden on the Go®
Garden on the Go is a mobile produce deployment program that provides fresh, affordable produce year round to neighborhoods of need in Marion County. As IU Health’s signature obesity prevention program, Garden on the Go has had over 45,000 customer encounters and sold over 200 tons of affordable produce since it was launched in May 2011.
About Indiana University Health
Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 16 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine—one of the nation’s leading medical schools—gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Learn more at www.iuhealth.org.