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  DECEMBER 04, 2009
Louisville Plays a Major Role in Community H1N1 Vaccination Clinic

studentvaccineNearly 400 University of Louisville faculty, staff and students volunteered their time November11-12, 2009 to help with the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness H1N1 immunization clinic located at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) played a key role in the effort, with 28 SPHIS volunteers participating over the two-day period.

The community clinic, which included a walk-in tent and 10 drive-through bays, was open on the first day from 7:45 a.m-8 p.m. and concluded the second day at 2 p.m., after all the vaccine had been distributed.

The first day alone, 12,613 people received the vaccine—the largest single day event according to available data.  In total, more than 19,000 people were inoculated against the H1N1 virus, with an average rate of 908 people per hour.

"We are extremely grateful for (University of Louisville’s) help at the H1N1 immunization clinic. The clinic would not have been possible without (University of Louisville’s)," said Dr. Adewale Troutman, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and SPHIS faculty.

Dr. Ruth Carrico, an assistant professor at the SPHIS provided oversight for training and medical protocol.

“The volunteers were overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic about their participation,” said Dr. Carrico. “This was an excellent opportunity for our school and students.”

University of Louisville public health students assisted with the consent form process and answered questions about the vaccine, serving as vaccine information specialists.  SPHIS graduate students Mr. Pretesh Parmar and Ms. Caitlin Shelton did advance planning and worked on the scene to keep track of and manage the details.  This included working with researchers from the university’s Speed School of Engineering to map out the location and use simulation to efficiently guide the traffic and determine equipment and volunteers.

“Collaborating with several departments within the university and the Department of Public Health and Wellness was essential to making the clinic a success,” said Mr. Parmar.

The University of Louisville’s participation in the clinic was likely one of the largest volunteer efforts in university history and evidence of ongoing collaboration between the university and local agencies.

"I'm incredibly proud of how we have responded to the city's request for help and for the professional, caring way our faculty, staff and students handled this huge task," said Dr. Shirley Willihnganz, executive vice president and university provost.

[Photo caption: University of Louisville students draw up vaccine for use in the drive-through bays. Over 19,000 people received the H1N1 vaccine at this two-day community clinic in Louisville, KY. Photo by Mr. Tom Fougerousse.]