FLINT — As part of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) — a national observance established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — state Representative Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) will be partnering with the Flint/Genesee County Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership alongside Genesee Health Plan to host a press conference on Monday, Dec. 7, at 10:15 a.m. to be held at Hamilton Community Health Network to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of flu vaccination and the local activities that will take place during NIVW. 

Since 2012, Flint/Genesee County have been a part of the National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership (NIVDP), which is a multi-sector campaign spearheaded by local influential partners who commit to promoting the importance of flu vaccination among underserved populations. The partnership is supported by the CDC. 

The local theme for the week is “For Your Protection,” local and state health and governmental officials will participate in the following weeklong events:

  • Monday, Dec. 7, at 10:15 a.m. Press conference at Hamilton Community Health Network, Main Clinic, 2900 N. Saginaw St. in Flint
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Influenza Symposium at Genesee Health Plan, 2171 S. Linden Road in Flint
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. For Your Protection – Community Event at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1083 Stewart Ave. in Flint
  • Saturday, Dec. 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. Rep. Neeley Health Fair at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 N. Ballenger Highway in Flint

On Thursday, Dec. 10, Genesee Health Plan and other community partners will hold a free health event at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church at 1083 E. Stewart Ave. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the public is encouraged to attend.  The event will highlight how families can protect themselves and their loved ones from preventable illness and disease. It will also include a panel discussion on health and insights on Flint water, featuring medical experts and policymakers who will share information, safeguards and steps families can take to minimize preventable illnesses.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Hurley Medical Center pediatrician whose study showing alarmingly high levels of lead in Flint children brought international media attention on Flint’s water crisis
  • Jim Milanowski, president and CEO of Genesee Health Plan
  • Dr. Gary Johnson of the Genesee County Health Department
  • Dr. Lawrence Reynolds,  president and CEO of Mott Children’s Health Center
  • State Rep. Sheldon Neeley, Michigan House of Representatives
  • Betinna Campbell, executive director, YOUR Center
  • Kevin Czubauchowski, Immunization Field Representative Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Bishop Bernadell Jefferson, pastor and community advocate – Faith and Community Perspective

“Genesee Health Plan is very grateful to our community partners for coming together and helping find ways to keep ourselves and our families protected,” said Jim Milanowksi, president and CEO of Genesee Health Plan. “We want families in Flint to know that we are here to share information so they can make good decisions, and that we want to help them connect with the health resources they need, including how to get regular check-ups and long-term monitoring for preventable diseases and illnesses. That’s why we strongly encourage everyone to attend this event.”

In addition, other health care providers and speakers will be available for one-on-one discussion and information. The event will include flu shots and immunizations, free health screenings and free water giveaways. GHP will also provide assistance and information for people at the event about GHP, the Healthy Michigan Plan and signing up for the Healthcare Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

Flu shots and vaccines are provided by Walgreens and the Genesee County Health Department. The event is jointly organized by GHP, GCHD and the National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership.

For more information, go to http://www.geneseehealthplan.org.

For information about flu shots, go to www.fluiq.org

Genesee Health Plan (GHP) is a community-initiated nonprofit program designed to provide health care coverage to the uninsured residents of Genesee County. The mission of GHP is to improve the access to the health care system for low-income and indigent Genesee County residents by providing them a medical “home” and providing coverage for health care services through a managed health care system.   

For more information on how to enroll, call (810) 232-7740. Visit GHP at http://www.geneseehealthplan.org