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Sanford Health to implement mandatory employee influenza vaccination policy

New policy aimed at protecting patients, staff

(Fargo, ND) - Sanford Health announced today it plans to implement mandatory influenza vaccinations for all Sanford employees and physicians effective with the 2013-2014 influenza season. The organization made the decision in order to maximize patient safety and protect its employees against influenza.

“This decision will protect our patients and also protect our employees during this upcoming influenza season. It’s a decision that our physicians support. Sanford Health’s physician leadership groups, our Boards of Governors, in all four of our regions have unanimously recommended mandatory influenza vaccinations for all employees,” said Paul Carson, MD, medical director, Sanford Health infection prevention and control, Fargo region.

Mandatory influenza vaccinations for health care workers have been endorsed by prestigious health care organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations (SDAHO). Many health systems across the country are also implementing mandatory influenza vaccinations this year.

Sanford Bismarck has already demonstrated success with influenza vaccinations. The region successfully implemented mandatory influenza vaccinations for its employees in 2010 and has achieved near 100 percent vaccination.

The new policy includes employees and physicians, as well as students, volunteers, contracted workers, locums and vendors. Exceptions to the required immunization will be granted for medical or religious reasons only.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Israel and Mexico.

Sanford Health includes 39 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanford's nearly $700 million in gifts, the largest ever to a health care organization in America. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, please visit


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